What a CATastrophe

Poster for the movie that is shown internationally.

Poster for the movie that is shown internationally.

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With the increased development of Broadway musicals being adapted to film, many theatre lovers were excited to see the arrival of Cats directed by Tom Hooper. 

Cats takes place in the streets of London and follows Victoria, the white cat, as she is introduced to the Jellicle tribe of cats after being abandoned by her owners. That night just so happens to be the night of the Jellicle Ball where all the cats come together and celebrate a cat who will be chosen to be brought up to the Heaviside Layer, and be given a new life. 

This classic story that originated as a Broadway musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber was retold just in time for the holiday season. The cast of this film left fans excited as there were big names such as James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, and Taylor Swift. These famous actors were accompanied by excellent dancers that brought the life of the cats to the screen. 

 

 

 

 

The Movie where the actors are transformed into cats. Pictured from a musical number in the movie.

Despite the big names, the film went down in flames and left families terrified. To start with, unlike the original Broadway production, the cats are not just wearing costumes, but with the usage of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) the actors were literally transformed into cats. This choice of removing human ears and adding fur to bodies left audience members speechless, and honestly scared. When seeing the first trailer, viewers probably thought the cats looked awful, but they were not prepared for dancing cockroaches and mice that look frightening. The movie had a big budget of $95 million so it’s highly questionable why the film was released when it looks like a nightmare come to life.

 

Within the storyline of the movie, Tom Hooper and the production team took some very interesting artistic liberties that differed greatly from the musical. For instance, Victoria, the white cat, doesn’t speak in the musical but sings a song titled “Beautiful Ghosts” in the film which was actually written by Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This was not the only change as there were a lot of alterations to musical numbers and some of the characters. The choices that were made did not reflect the original Broadway show, and Andrew Lloyd Webber should be offended by that!

Despite her amazing vocals, Jennifer Hudson looks absolutely terrifying! Pictured from the trailer of the movie.

When leaving the movie theatre,  audience members are haunted by a “Memory” that they won’t be able to easily remove from their minds. Yes, the dancing was astonishing and visually beautiful, but that glamour and technique of these highly trained dancers and actors was washed away when viewers were distracted by the scary creatures that were supposed to be cats. Hopefully, families will only go see Cats for a laugh, but if not, they should save the money and just see the Broadway musical.