My Experience Seeing Cats

Over the winter break, I had the opportunity to go and see Cats in the theatre for the full horror-filled monstrosity it was (big thanks to my boyfriend for going with me and letting me feed my innate curiosity to see what everyone was talking about).

Sitting down in my theatre seat and getting settled in, I don’t think I had a full grasp on what the next hour and forty-nine minutes of my life would entail (Ha, enTAIL…I’ll stop). Sure, the reviews were terrible and people on Twitter had been endlessly creating memes and threads about how terrible it was, but it couldn’t be that bad though, right?

Ah, how wrong I was.

However, before I get into the full account of how horrifying this film is, I would like to applaud the desperate attempts of the actors and all involved to make the movie be taken seriously. They’re really trying.

Like how did they even get Jennifer Hudson to be in this film?!

Cats in itself is a bizarre story. A group of so-called ‘Jellicle’ cats compete for the chance to be picked by old Deuteronomy to be born into a new life. Somehow, they got Judi Dench to agree to play this role (How? We’ll never know, but I would like to). After the Jellicle Ball, Grizabella the ‘Glamour Cat’ (played by Jennifer Hudson) is picked, much to the frustration of Macavity, the ‘bad guy’ in this story (played by Idris Elba).

….Yeah, it’s strange.

However, the strangeness of this story worked in the staged version. The actors wore cat-like bodysuits and makeup, and the suspension of disbelief by the members of the audience helped put them in the role of actual cats. One of the main cats, Victoria, does ballet. There has to be a human-like quality to the cats in this story in order to make this choice make sense. In the movie, the creators desperately try to make the actors look as cat-like as possible with CGI that is unimpressive at best and embarrassing at worst, and it creates some terrifying nightmare fuel. Often, the feet of the actors aren’t touching the ground due to terrible editing. This movie cost so much money to make and they couldn’t even get that right!

The musical performance by people such as Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson is mediocre. It’s passable as a rendition of a song from the musical, but isn’t anything special. The visual component also makes it worse. Close your eyes, and it would probably sound alright. Overall, the movie was a hot mess. Hot in the sense that it was weirdly sexual in many scenes, especially Jason Derulo’s ‘Rum Tum Tugger.’ It was super uncomfortable. Up until seeing Cats, I had never seen anyone walk out of a movie theatre. I saw two people walk out less than halfway through the film. Yikes!

My advice to you is to save your money and see a worthy film, such as Little Women or Knives Out instead. If you’re super curious about Cats, like I was, wait until it is out on DVD/streaming platforms, or just watch the musical itself!