Well this film has created a bit of controversy and whisper in the air hasn’t it?! Everyone wants to see it for themselves. “Is it really that bad?” “It must be amazing as the theatre show is renowned for its brilliance!” Well yes, the theatre show is renowned for its brilliance, but unfortunately the show has nothing to do with the film, other than a loose connection in its name.
‘Cats’ is a film which has based all of its efforts in stardom. Stardom such as Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Dame Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Jason Derulo. But when stardom is all the effort, other aspects of the movie are lost. What is the film about? Isn’t that the question on everyone’s lips and can anyone that has seen the film actually answer this question? Well, it’s quite difficult. But I’m going to try… We meet loads of cats, who sing and dance. All the cats start to gather to attend the Jellicle Ball where a cat becomes crowned the Jellicle cat who then can fly in a balloon into the skies to reach the Heaviside Layer to start a new life. What any of that actually means, I have no idea.
I understand performance is key in a musical and ‘Cats’ does hit all the right notes. I enjoyed many of the little performances (although some did seem to go on a bit long). However, there were way too many performances crammed into one film. ‘Cats’ just then became a montage of lots of snippet performances in no particular sequence. In theatre, a performance one after another live is phenomenal and magical, but this didn’t seem to present itself as good on screen. The multiple performances seemed to get lost in translation, where I was getting a bit bored of the non-stop songs by the end, especially when there didn’t seem to have a change of tune. Nevertheless, there were some enjoyable performances, such as a bit of tapdancing, which was thoroughly entertaining. James Corden and Rebel Wilson’s performances were also fun with comedy splashed throughout. Next, the encouraging of Mr Mistoffelees’ (Laurie Davidson) magical powers was a touching performance. Lastly, we cannot forget the phenomenal voice of Jennifer Hudson which was full of emotion (but there wasn’t a need for the repeat in the same song as it is slow).
The whole film seems to be revolved around one cat in particular: Victoria (Francesca Hayward). I have no idea why everything was revolved around her and there didn’t seem to be any character background for the audience to cling to as our main protagonist. Yes, she could sing and yes, she could dance. But all the other cats seemed to be infatuated by this new cat and there wasn’t any clear reasoning why or justification for this random new obsession.
Happily, there were some giggle-worthy moments. Actors such as Rebel Wilson and James Corden have to hold some comedy element and they do indeed in this film. This, however, does not make this film a comedy, but it was a breath of fresh air with some small comedy gimmicks from these two beloved stars. They were enjoyable cats to watch on screen.
Overall, there were enjoyable elements of the film, but there were many other parts of the film which weren’t. The ending went on for too long. Jennifer Hudson, even though an emotional performance, was crying to the point where it looked like snot was on her face. They put DAME Judi Dench in some weird cat suit which made her look like a lion. The whole CGI effects of the film didn’t seem up to standard to make it the spectacle it was supposed to be. The plot was loose and didn’t make much sense, I was confused for the first thirty minutes and just accepted that there wasn’t going to be any logic by the middle of the film. The summary of the ‘bad guy’ of the film was silly and seemed rushed. Also, sad to say, but Taylor Swift’s character was irrelevant. On the other hand, I didn’t hate everything. Mr Mistoffelees was a character who grew and was understood, James Corden and Rebel Wilson brought some comedy elements, and some of the performances were mesmerising to watch. Nevertheless, the first thing you need to get used to is the way that these cat/humans look. I’ve watched it once and I think that is enough for me.