Me-owwwww. This film is a tough pussy to watch. CATS is a cat-astrophe and we’re not the only ones saying it. But look, we’re not just jumping on the bandwagon, so here’s an entire break down on CATS, to figure out what it actually is that got dragged in.
What is CATS?
CATS is Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the musical CATS, because we all know there is more than one way to skin one. This copycat runs for 2 hours and it’s a movie about… well, cats! If you’re a fan of the musical, this is what we have to say: the movie is just as good and is just as bad as the musical. Take that as you wish because someone let this out of the bag, and we don’t know who to blame.
What’s so bad about it?
Ah, type in CATS into your search bar and everyone’s talking smack about the film’s not so special effects. This fearsome feline is so bad, that the studio released the movie… and subsequently, in less than a week, released a new version with improved visuals. It’s like a video with a new patch, but this one is weak as a kitten!
Tom Hooper’s choice to CGI cat fur and feline-like features on to the actors instead of putting them into costume and makeup was something that received collective disagreement from the moment it was announced. One of the things that makes CATS a spectacle to watch is the insane amount of time and effort that’s being put into making the stage actors look like cats – taking that away takes away the magic of the musical itself.
But hey, this isn’t the first time CGI has been used to turn humans into animals, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Right? Wrong. There are plenty of flaws present in the film – fur real! First things first, if you’re going to CGI the entire human body, why leave some parts out of it? The cats have fur all the way down to the back of their hand but flip the hand over and you’ll see a regular human palm. As if that’s not bad enough, they forgot to CGI Judi Dench’s hand completely. The actress’ wedding ring was visible throughout the whole film.
And if you think hands are weird, wait till you take a look at the feet.
Shoes for all of them. Please.
It’s essentially furry hentai
There’s something about these felines that make you feel sort of…. frisky. Look we’re not embarrassed to admit it because there are very strong sexual underlying tones.
The cats remind us a lot of furries – humans who dress up as animals like cats, dogs, horses etc. And while the furry fandom has other interests such as video games and comics, it is still a pretty kinky subculture. The furry fandom has been the butt of a joke for a long time but guess they’re the ones laughing now. Just like cats, the actors would look at each other with big bright eyes before nuzzling into each other’s necks. There’s something about caressing necks that’s far more sensual and sexual than regular lip-locking. Unless furry hentai is what gets you off, you’d be begging for them to kiss like regular humans, you look 90% like it anyways!
Hypersexualisation of bodies
Previous films that turn humans into animals through the works of CGI include Planet Of The Apes. Well, that movie franchise was a success and we weren’t squirming uncomfortably in our seats watching it.
Cats don’t wear clothes so the actors don’t as well – except for a select few. It’s interesting to note that most of the cats that were fully naked were the female cats. Breasts prominent and intact whereas their male counterparts had their genitals shaved down or edited out. Male characters like Rum Tum Tugger, Macavity and Mr Mistofelees among a few others are clothed – accessories, coats and even pants! James Corden’s Bustopher Jones wears a full tuxedo suit! But no, we had to deal with seeing feline Taylor Swift jiggling her chest and Rebel Wilson caressing her tail in a phallic manner.
These are images that we didn’t want to see, images that we can’t seem to unsee. Everyone is made to look so incredibly sexy. And whilst sexy is not a crime, sexy human-cats are purrfectly awful to behold.
Heck, you spend the entirety of the movie seeing Idris Elba hiding in the shadows in a trench coat and a hat, only to end the film with a naked, shiny furry Idris Elba perching on a pedestal. Side butt and furry abs and all. Now that is an apawlling mental picture that gives us nightmares.
We never really understood why CATS had to cast big-name celebrities instead of actual theatre or Broadway actors? Having a stellar cast does not necessarily bring in the crowd and CATS learned this the hard way. Hiring singers instead of actors was a choice we never understood either. Yes, being in a musical does mean needing the ability to sing, but it feels almost concert-ish. Taylor Swift’s performance of ‘Macavity’ looks like something right out of her Reputation tour. And who even thought James Corden was a good idea? This isn’t carpool karaoke – it’s a cat-astrophe.
We weren’t able to feel any sort of strong connection between the actors and the roles they were playing – apart from Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger because Derulo is actually sexy and flirty.
Typecasting Idris Elba was also something that we don’t appreciate. Elba is a talented, talented man and we’d like to see him not play a villain for once. Elba plays Macavity – a drug pusher and a pimp. He is feared by the community of cats (aka The Jellicles) and with good reason. He lures curious cats into the shadows of dark alleys before magically kidnapping them. We’re not exactly thrilled about having a person of colour play the big villain once again – a typical casting choice in Hollywood films. The only time we see a person of colour play the protagonist is when the film themselves was made by a fellow person of colour. Whitewashing films are common, stereotyping certain ethnicities into roles are common, but it’s 2020 soon, we no longer want to nor have to deal with what’s common.
The music is just not memorable
How is this a film adaptation of a musical if none of the musical performances is memorable? Now, we don’t know if this is the fault of the original musical, or the movie, but every song was a mere introduction of who the different cats are. Victoria is an abandoned cat that just wants to be loved, Rum Tum Tugger is a sexy curious and Mr Mistoffelees is a magician cat. What kind of cat does magic anyways?! The only song that stands out – as fans would already know and expect – is ‘Memory’.
Jennifer Hudson is one hell of a singer and she delivered the song beautifully, but it just… wasn’t enough to elicit any feelings in the viewers. Hudson plays Grizebella, a cat shunned by the Jellicles for being a prostitute. Her backstory wasn’t fleshed out enough for you to even sympathise with her. All we know about her is that she mopes around, face full of snot and then suddenly belts a song about loneliness. Maybe all we really need to make ourselves feel better is to hit the karaoke bar.
There is barely any plot
We’re keeping this short. Oh, like the plot. The whole movie is basically about the Jellicle Ball. The Jellicle Ball is a contest where participating cats have to perform to the group elder. The chosen ‘best cat’ gets sent to Heaviside Layer and is reborn into another life.
Yeah, that’s literally it. Why the hell did it take 2 hours? Beats us. In all, it was just a bad trip.
Dogs are just better
After all we’ve been through, we’re accepting this as facts.