AFTER THIS POST.
I can’t (re:wont) promise this will be the last time I talk about the movie CATS (2019), but maybe if I put all the thoughts into one big blog post then it wont leak out of my ears and into the nonsense stream we all call radio.
So Cats. It is what could technically be described as a movie. It has a run time of 1 hour 50 minutes. There are characters who are played by talented, decorated, and probably very well paid actors. It even has some words which were presumably written on a script for the aforementioned actors to read. So there you have it. Technically speaking, Cats could be described literally as a movie. Great.
But after that we have a bit of an issue. Because although it has all that good stuff, it’s also important to think about the things it doesn’t have. And maybe even more importantly: the things it does have. We’ll come back to this point later, but first maybe I should explain what we’re even talking about here.
Cats is a movie directed by Tom Hooper based on the Broadway musical of the same name. It follows the events of The Jellical night and it’s Jellical Ball, in which a tribe of cats (the Jellical cats) will perform for the leader of the Jellicles, Old Deuteronomy (Dame Judy Dench), who will make the “Jellical choice”. A choice which Old Deuts alone can make, and will result in the chosen cat to ascend to “Heaviside Layer” and be reborn into a new Jellical life.
Basically: A bunch of cats sing to Judy Dench, so that she’ll pick them to be KILLED. It’s a movie about a blood cult. Imagine this movie as the exact polar opposite of Battle Royale. Tonally, stylistically, thematically, spiritually, and every other type of “ally”, this movie is the opposite of Takashi’s Battle Royale.
Sounds kinda interesting. Buncha cats in a blood cult deciding who deserves to get blood cult-ed. Cool.
Except not. It’s really not very interesting. At all. In fact it’s really really boring. I felt every. Single. One of those 110 minutes. As soon as the credits were rolling I was out of there. And that’s the problem! This movie isn’t even interestingly bad! It’s like an old banana peel on the sidewalk. It’s gross and you don’t really want to look at it, but where Cats is a banana peel, then The Room is road kill wearing a party hat. It’s way more offensive and gross but at least you can kinda laugh and maybe ponder why this dead animal is wearing a silly hat. Cats is so plainly unremarkable by comparison that I can’t really even recommend hate watching it.
Buuuuuut. We need to address some things about it so we can move on with our lives.
I’ve seen the musical. I don’t know why my parents thought they would enjoy it, and why they thought I would enjoy it, but I didn’t, they didn’t, no one did. I honestly didn’t remember a single thing about it until it came back up in the movie. The play is nonsense. It’s surreal on purpose. It’s artistic in the way that it completely deconstructs the ideas of what is and is not art. It DARES you to enjoy it. It throws a whole metric ton of nonsense at you, with no clear plot, character development, or narrative structure of any kind, then with a completely straight face goes “so what did you think?”. And that’s all well and good, but it really only works if you know it’s happening and probably more importantly, if you give a shit. Because the correct answer is “It sucked and you know it”. Cats (the Broadway musical) is like the emperor’s new clothes, except it’s not in a position of power and respect. So it’s more like “this random dude’s new clothes”, and the story ends with everyone going “no dude, you’re just naked. You’re an idiot and you’re not fooling anyone”.
So that’s the energy this movie is going with. Because for some reason, after all that nonsense, critics still think the play is good, and the masses are either tricked into believing them, or disagree and forget about it.
I think the reason so many people were upset by Cats the movie, is exactly because they didn’t know all that stuff I just mentioned. They went in expecting a movie. They were not given a movie. They were given Cats.
I said I would come back to the point of things this movie does and does not have, so heres a list
Doesn’t have: Consistent tone, a plot that makes sense, an antagonist with clear motives and morals.
Does have: A straight up 10 second scene where Rebel Wilson scratches her crotch in absolute silence, Jason Derulo sucking toes, Jennifer Hudson’s snot bubble in every scene shes in. Skimbleshanks the railway cat.
My review: Taylor Swift is really good in this movie. The song Taylor Swift wrote for this movie would have been good if it wasn’t in the middle of the only other good song from this movie (memory). The song Taylor Swift didn’t write but does sing is very good. Skimbleshanks the railway cat. After that things are just kinda weird and not really worth mentioning. James Cordon, Rebel Wilson, and Jason Derulo all suck in this.
If Cats becomes the new The Room or Rocky Horror Picture Show I will gladly ignore it for the rest of time anyway.
Do not watch Cats.