The name of the documentary’s production company is “A Ticklish Tale Limited.” It seems like the film should be entitled “Ticklish” rather than “Tickled.” This movie is only on the surface about getting agreeably excited or laughing spasmodically: tickled. This investigative journalism is about requiring careful or delicate handling: ticklish.
There’s a good chance you’ll spend most of your time watching “Tickled” with your jaw dropped or your face scrunched. Some of you may not want to spend your movie time finding out what two obscure journalists from New Zealand uncover behind the seemingly innocuous world of “Competitive Endurance Tickling.” Some of you will feel compelled nonetheless.
Some of you will be uncomfortable being entertained and enlightened in such close proximity to being disturbed and bound to yet another creepy, scary aspect of the world we live in. Why recommend such a documentary exploration, besides it being a uniquely fresh topic rooted in things all too familiar? See “Tickled” because of the churning opportunity to watch good obsession (journalists uncovering the truth and trying to harness the safety in it) tangling with bad obsession (a cloaked, rich and powerful man preying to extreme on people’s vulnerabilities and fear).
This is a cautionary tale. When there’s more money involved than makes sense, it’s all too likely that something wrong lurks. Especially when young guys are lured with more money than makes sense, learn caution, caution, caution. Just to pique many people’s modern worries, “Tickled” doesn’t merely implicate money; it’s about the internet, too. (You can still leave your house. You can still use the internet. Really.)
Is this film at all about tickling? Yes, peculiarly, the film also challenges you about a not so uncommon niche in our widely, weirdly “normal” social fabric. (Your mileage may vary.) This film merges an effective blend of the filmmakers’ feeling personally hooked into the story with a well-crafted way of hooking you and keeping you hooked.