Movie review: Cats

27 Dec 2019 / 09:59 H.

FIRST of all, I have to admit that I am not a fan of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical ((inspired by T.S. Eliot’s 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats) ) that this movie is based on.

The trailers did not change my mind. So I did enter the cinema with some trepidation as to how this movie would be.

The human actors in body hugging cat costumes did look creepy (as they did on stage) and some of the scenes featuring Rebel Wilson scratching herself were more lewd than funny.

There was also a problem with scale in some scenes when the cats seem unusually small compared to the things around them.

Some elements of the musical were tweaked for the big screen. One of them is introducing Victoria, a recently thrown out young cat (played by celebrated ballerina Francesca Hayward) who helps the story move along as she meets the various felines who make up this secret world of Jellicle cats led by Munkustrap (Robbie Fairchild) who take her in.

Turns out the cats are awaiting the annual Jellicle Ball where a worthy cat will be picked by their wise elder Old Deuteronomy (Dame Judi Dench) to go to a mysterious place beyond the clouds called Heaviside Layer and be reborn to what they truly desire.

While there are some worthy and not-so-worthy cats who are in the running to be picked, the villainous Macavity (Idris Elba) is determined to get rid off all the competitors by making them disappear and ensuring he is picked instead.

With an ensemble comprising big names such as Ian McKellen, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson, the movie no doubt hopes to lure in audiences with star power.

Jennifer Hudson who plays Grizabella, a former glamour cat sadly almost gets drowned out by the orchestra during her rendition of Memory.

The movie’s slow pacing might put off most people. However if you enjoyed the musical theatre version, you might embrace this.

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