“Cats” review: a “tail” of historic controversy

Nathan Turoff, Critter Columnist

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To say the “Cats” movie was intriguing is nothing short of an understatement. 

The whole film was a sight to behold: with CGI cats, eerie visuals and a plot as flimsy as the cats’ tails. However, it succeeded in every way it should. 

This film has been tossed aside as a career-ruining, industry-disrespecting, nightmare-inducing piece of furry propaganda. As an avid theatre-goer and movie-goer, and someone very familiar with the “Cats” show, the somewhat disturbing visuals of the cat-human hybrids were not too off-putting to me, as having seen the show has led me to expect nothing less. 

Visually, the whole film, when looked at as a whole and when you look past the cats themselves, is nothing short of remarkable (if finished on time!). While easily overlooked by the character design, the characters themselves are incredibly strong as they are casted by actors who perform them perfectly, with singing and dancing skills to match. The major drawback is that it becomes very obvious which actors (if you can’t already recognize them, under all the cat hair), were more expensive to pay, as they will conveniently get “abducted” not long after their song ends. 

However, what one must realize, is that these criticisms and compliments have been leveled against this whole concept, whether it be on stage or on the screen. Ever since “Cats” was first made, it has been a center of controversy and disparagement over its plot and basic concepts. In that regard, as being a film adaption of a well-known musical, it succeeds in respecting and understanding its predecessor, while also throwing in its own unique aspects, for better or worse. 

In summary, I think this is a must see for any self-respecting theatre fan, but perhaps not worth money. The dances and singing alone make it worth a watch. But for a general movie fan with no knowledge of theatre shows, I definitely do not recommend watching this.

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