Cats 2019 Review
Of course we all saw the ordeal online of how much people hated this film, and while I have never been a fan of Cats at all, I had to give it my own opinion because I didn’t want it to be swayed by others. But in this case the Internet was right, this was horrible.
Cats is the film adaptation of the musical Cats that has been around for years. It follows a new cat that is dumped in the outside world and a group of cats, the Jellicle cats, welcome her in and show her the ropes as one of them is going to be pronounced the Jellicle choice at the end of the day and it seems, whisked off to heaven.
Throughout the film we get to meet different contestants that want to be the chosen cat and each seem to come across worse than the one before, and while the story is quite hard to follow and it is the first English film I’ve had to watch with subtitles because I just couldn’t understand what they were saying, the actual adaptation is even worse.
What I would’ve loved in this film would have been if they took what they do on stage with the costuming and put that into the film straight up, no CGI, just practical effects. Give everyone fake nails that look like claws so their hands look more paw-like, give people little ear headbands and tails out the back (that could be CGI if you wanted them to move) and make them all where tight lycra suits that are covered in fur so, yes you know they are humans, but you are able to use your imagination to see them as cats.
However they did not do this and the uncanny valley of this whole situation was terrifying. My first issue was it seemed some of the characters’ faces didn’t fit on the CGI, their faces just looked way out of a proportion and I think it’s because they didn’t have human ears and it just threw everything off. There were many moments where you could see the actors hands yet they referred to their hands as paws in the script which made it very hard to suspend your disbelief, and there were even moments where you saw human feet and the bottom of the leggings that they were wearing that were clearly not the skin of a cat.
To finally say something nice about the film, I loved the sets (if they were practical sets), they looked gorgeous, they were really well designed and they really fit the aesthetic of the whole musical. However the cats were too small for the sets! There were moments where the cats were on a railway track and all of the cats could fit on one of the track lanes and really, unless they are newborn kittens, they would be too big for that and so the sizing of the actors was really off putting and made it hard to watch because they literally looked like mice, not cats.
And finally what really made me sad was that they had so many great actors in this, I said in my Don’t Look Up review as well the pulling force of that film seemed to be the actors that they had in it and this was no different. From great singers including Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson, they could do the songs so much justice. Memories was one of the best moments in the film and it was ruined by all the jump cuts of the camera, and even with actors such as Ian McKellen and Judi Dench, you had such big-name stars and they were wasted because the actual execution was so bad.
When you watch it on stage you have to follow everything with your own eyes, however in a film they can choose the angles that they want to show you, but I feel so much of the choreography and cleverness of it all was lost because there were so many camera angles used. If dance routines move fluidly without any jump cuts you will be able to watch it easier and be able to appreciate the effort that has gone into it all, however some of the biggest moments from the musical lost its impact because the jump cuts really made it hard to follow.
If you want to watch this movie to see if it was as bad as everyone has said then I highly recommend it because it is and it is hilarious, however if you don’t want to waste two hours of your life then I don’t blame you, don’t watch it. I wouldn’t recommend it and, if anything, I’d say go watch the actual musical onstage instead of the film because you know you will have a fabulous night out and it may be easier to follow.
What do you think of Cats?
Until next time.