(This is Cats film review, which is the live-film adaptation to the famous musical of the same name)
There has been many films that are adaptations from famous musicals such as Lés Misérables, and some of them did so quite well. Then we have Cats, which was viewed with very polarising views upon of its release.
It is directed by the same director, Tom Hooper, who brought us the excellent Lés Misérables, and it even features a cast full of star-studded actors such as James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward. But enough about that, for we will not delve deep into the Cats film review below to see the truth behind the polarising views!
When a young abandoned white cat, Victoria, is thrown into the street of London by her owner, she is picked up a group of Jellicles cat, who then shows her their way of life as well as tradition of the Jellicle Ball. However, a baddie by the name of Macavity appears and decides to eliminate all of the candidates of the Jellicles Choice, in order to make him the default option. What would happen in the end?
Cats Film Review
The premise itself is based on the musical, and it can be considered a pretty unique or weird one depending on your preferences. There are some stories that try to show the connection of abandonment and new hope, but some of them seem to get lost in between the scenes, or given too much emphasis that it becomes cringe.
In fact, this film seems like it is made for kids, as it doesn’t bother to explain much of the reasoning behind some rituals, as well as featuring some characters that are weird yet one-dimensional. Worse, the romance part seems to be lost to the audience as it turns from a side-story to nothingness by the time the film is near the ending. So there are some inconsistencies with how the story plays out, and the film itself doesn’t seem to care.
it doesn’t bother to explain much of the reasoning behind some rituals
There are not much to say here, because as a film, its premise is badly managed, and as a musical, it focuses too much on the dance and visual spectacles that it costs the reduction in story quality.
Pacing can be slow in the beginning and the middle, with some long drawn out musical playing even for a very minor thing. The climax, though, is handled pretty well and could almost give a great final impression…until it too gets dragged out at the end for some fourth wall breaking humour.
CGI is both a hit and a miss. The Cats themselves are quite weird and yeah, is primarily the reason for the polarising views among the audiences. They look a bit weird, close to uncanney valley level, yet also retains some realism, it’s like a dream that happens after drugs I guess. But the set pieces are great, with the street of London and the various locations showing nice neon art direction, and also pretty eye-catching and memorable.
CGI is both a hit and a miss
The characters themselves revolve plenty of Cats, but only a few are the important ones that get more screen time than the rest. Some just appears halfway through the film without much introduction. But I must say there are plenty of memorables ones such as our Victoria, Mr. Mistoffelees, Bustopher Jones, Macavity as well as Rum Rum Tugger. They have unique personalities that are evident through their attires as well as actions.
They have unique personalities that are evident through their attires as well as actions
Most of the rest are just there to move the story from one musical to the next, and thus are pretty forgettable minutes after they are away from the screen. And others are weird like the mice and the cockroaches, for the wrong reason btw (read: eaten by the cats). The villain itself is pretty cool and all, but his ambition is too simplistic and too one-sided to make him a great villain.
This is really a film for kids where the villain is a pure villain and there are no grey areas or complex characters to be seen. So yeah, don’t expect any character development or great characters writing here.
the musics provide the tension and mood to the scenes
Some of the soundtracks are great and helps to alleviate the boredom from the slower scenes. Most of them happen in the beginning and near the end, where the musics provide the tension and mood to the scenes. But, sadly, the main theme of the musical is a bit weakly executed due to the directing of the scenes, and it’s not as impactful as it should be.