I first saw on TV the musical Cats, it was around 1998. Then I was attracted by the acrobatics of the actors wearing tails and sharp ears, singing “Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cat”. The costumes were successful, not reminiscent of any grotesque carnival but they were able to highlight the acrobatic choreography.
With the premiere of the movie Cats, I found the same Victoria, the old Deuteronomy, Rumpleteazer, Grizabella or the malicious Macavity, this time with the figures of well-known actors – such as Judi Dench or Ian McKellen, of an Idris Elba or Taylor Swift.
The conflict between the “good” cats of Old Deuteronomy and the “bad” cats of Macavity, against the backdrop of Victorian London, is the main plot of the film, motivated by the competition between cats before the Jellicle Ball when Old Deuteronomy will choose a cat to be reborn and to lead a new life. But are cats really competitive?
The musical numbers do not take the action before, the film is a succession of performances in which each cat or group of cats demonstrates their mastery in dance or singing. But there are many moments that the public will love. The one with Gus (short for Asparagus): The Theater Cat (Ian McKellen) – the guy who was once a famous actor, but now he is old and suffering from a paralysis that causes his paws to shake, or the moment with the magician, or with Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson) singing the song “Memory” or the near-fatal moment with Bombalurina (Taylor Swift) are among our favorites.
Victoria’s white cat (Francesca Hayward ballerina) not only dances beautifully, but she has an extraordinary mimicry. The choreography is very beautiful, with dance styles ranging from classical to contemporary ballet, from hip-hop to jazz, from street dance to step.
Unfortunately, the way of moving the cats, syncopated, not fluid, gave us some creeps. There are times when cats look like a zombie band. Take some time and until you get used to the anthropomorphic appearance of furry creatures. We recommend the movie for families with children – the latter can more easily accept the character representation conventions.
If music lovers will appreciate Cats’ half-hearted choreography, for most audiences the movie will remain a musical plea for cats.