“Cats”–a movie review   2 comments

T. S. Eliot had written a book of verses regarding cats and wrote his publisher the following:
“….there might be a part that children wouldn’t like and part that adults wouldn’t like and part that nobody would like. The mise-en-scène may not please. There seem to be many more ways of going wrong than of going right     (to Geoffrey Faber, 6 March 1936)   Notice date!
“Cats”, the Broadway musical, ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances opening in 1982. The previous year it opened London and now, 83 years later, it is on the silver screen. (Do people still call it that?)
The first time I saw it on stage I went to the Winter Garden theatre and was interested how they changed the whole theatre into an alley and additionally  sparked my interest when you could see the ‘cats’ roam all over including the back of customer’s seats. I didn’t really pay attention to the story because there really wasn’t any but watching the actors being cats was a joy of its own. It was more of an audition for some individual cats of which one would be chosen for the ‘Heaviside Layer’ and come back to a new life.
The musical score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, using the verses of T.S.Eliot plus some help from Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, giving the world the song “Memory”.
Many people hated the show but more, specifically parents, their kids and tourists loved the show eventually making billions of dollars.
The movie opened this week and will, too, have some loving it and others hating it but I think the latter will win. I don’t fall into either category as I didn’t feel one way or the other. Being a huge Jennifer Hudson fan I was anxious to hear/see her deliver “Memory” and she more than makes the song her own. Judi Dench, who was to be in the original production but who had to leave due to a Archilles tendon snapping a week before the show was to open, is here to decide who will go to the Heaviside Layer and Ian McKellen as Asaragus, Gus for short, is a once famous actor and now is old, has cerebral palsy and hopes to ‘win’ the chance for a new life.
Various other cats are played by Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson and James Cordon while Francesca Hayward makes her film debut as Victoria a new cat abandoned by her human owners. There is also an excellent ensemble of professional dancers, many from the Royal Ballet, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler.
The cat ‘outfits’ along with the disconcerting CGI effects and the direction by Tom Hopper lacks the charm of the stage productions.  Though I am glad I went to see this version of “Cats” I won’t recommend it as it is one of the many of less successful Broadway to Hollywood musicals.
The movie runs an hour and 50 minutes and is rated R but I didn’t hear/see anything that would be offensive for young kids who would probably get involved watched the cats.

Posted December 20, 2019 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

2 responses to ““Cats”–a movie review

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  1. As much as I love the cast, this won’t be on my list.

  2. Pingback: 20+ Cats Reviews – An Entire Movie About … (Spoilers) – Movies, Movies, Movies

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