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Review-Cats (2019)

Cats

I had to see a priest after watching this.

I am not a theater person. I have seen maybe 3 plays in my life and I’m pretty sure two of those were high school productions. I’m also not knowledgable about musicals but I’ve seen my fair share of them, mainly by Disney but still. I DO however know about Cats since it has been parodied and made fun of TO DEATH by various television shows and movies. I always had the impression that it was “uncanny”, that it was “creepy” and “nonsensical”. Now, I can’t judge the play or the collection of poems it was based on since I have yet to experience either of them but if this film is anything to go by, I don’t think I would want to.

Cats is a fucking nightmare. A weird, awful nightmare that I was profoundly uncomfortable with experiencing and yet so strange, so…FUCKING bonkers that I also found myself somewhat mystified by its existence. Right now as I write this I am struggling to find the words to describe what I saw in that almost empty movie theater. I guess my main problem with Cats is that there’s almost nothing or anyone to gravitate towards. Pretty much every main character gets their own song and they…VERY MUCH THOROUGHLY EXPLAIN WHO THE ARE but half the time those same characters disappear the next scene and are barely referenced or show up throughout the majority of the run time. To be wholly honest with you I can barely anyone’s names because they were named shit like “Rumblo Glunkin” and “Crinkly McBinglus” and the lack of any true dialogue just left me wondering what was even happening half the time. Yes. I know. It’s a musical and I will freely admit that these feelings mainly stem from unfamiliarity with the genre, but you’re never given a chance to breathe and stay in one location and fully comprehend what is going on. I would have really appreciated a slower pace and more dialogue focused scenes or hell, if you’re gonna sing, have more duets! ….actually, they probably can’t because the source material most likely didn’t have those either. Fuck.

Now I will say. There is one shining beacon in this grim farce of a film. A pillar of light that shined so bright I almost started tearing up in my seat.

Jennifer. Hudson.

Jennifer is so, SO good in this movie. Even with the lousy material, she was given her singing was able to elevate every. single. lyric in each song she sang. She pours her soul into her second of performance and you know what? You know fucking what? It got to me. She was able to have me connect with this weird, uncanny cat creature she was playing and make me sympathetic towards her plight and want to see her succeed and gain a better life. This movie did not deserve Jennifer Hudson at all. I remember seeing a trailer for another movie she was going to be in I think it was called “Respect”? It’s a movie about Aretha Franklin that I had no idea was being made but after seeing her in this I am more than excited to see it. And you know what? To be fair to Cats for a moment I can at least admire what it was TRYING to do. The movie does come off like a theatrical version of a stage play and there are some creative visuals during the musical sequences. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THE VISUAL EFFECTS ON SOME OF THE CAT PEOPLE LOOKED GOOD AND SOMEWHAT SEAMLESS. I also thought some of the songs in the movie were pretty alright. I loved all of Hudson’s stuff but I actually really enjoyed Taylor Swift’s and Steve McRae’s songs because they had actual energy and rhythm to them. Honestly, I don’t have any complaints about the acting because everyone in this movie was good I just REALLY wish they were apart of a much better film.

Cats is…weird. It’s uncanny. It’s awkward. It’s pretty shit..and yet? And yet. For some ungodly reason, I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe it’s because of the weird VFX, maybe it’s because of the surreal setting, maybe it’s because of its nonsensical and borderline inane story but I can’t help but have some kind of fondness for it. I don’t regret seeing it al all and it was kind of nice to laugh at a movie in a movie theater. Do I recommend you see it though?

Fucking. No? What the fuck just go see Star Wars or something don’t spend almost two hours your life at a movie theater for this. Seeing this made me feel like I was going insane just wait for it to be on VOD or Redbox or something.

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