Cats: The World’s Horniest Genital-Free Movie

Raina Carfaro, Scarlet Staff

I know, I know! I’m sure that you have heard lots of horrible things about this movie, like that it has no plot, terrible effects, and awful dancers, but that’s all wrong! The dancers aren’t that terrible! The dancers do the best they can with the highly unnerving choreography they were given. Andrew Lloyd Webber was notoriously hopped up on cocaine while writing the original stage musical, and apparently, the production team of this movie was, too.

I went into the movie theater excited and terrified for the journey that lay before me. To my glee and no one’s surprise, the theater was completely empty. To simplify “Cats”’s senseless plot, the story is about cats in our human world competing against one another for the chance to be reborn into a new life. They are reborn by going into a hot air balloon into space, where they then dissolve into thin air. 

From the moment the movie started to the minute it ended, I swear I didn’t blink. My eyes felt like they were being pried open by the hands of God, forcing me to watch furry Jason Derulo writhe around and thrust on the floor. For a movie rated PG, it comes off as extremely sexual the entire time. The actors slink about like cats and attempt to be as graceful as they can in hopes that they might cling to whatever dignity they have left. In spite of the actors’ clear efforts, the skin-tight suits and constant rubbing against one another invokes other images that are far less family-friendly. It would somehow be less sensual for the cats to just kiss instead of bringing their faces very close and grind necks whilst purring. 

Even the scale of the movie is unnerving. The actors are supposed to be around the size of real cats, but the scale changes throughout the movie. At points, the cats look like they’re around the size of large dogs and at another point, they look as small as mice. And the mice! The mice featured in a scene are CGI-ed children, and worse still are the cockroaches who sing and dance and have human faces. They are eaten in a disturbing manner by Rebel Wilson’s cat, who is turned into a fat joke.

Most of the featured characters have a song to themselves which is common for ensemble musicals, but for a film interpretation, they did it all wrong. Films have far more freedom than stage shows, and can physically move the setting of the scene with ease. They used this freedom too much in the movie to the point where each song felt like it was from a different movie. The simplistic plot is made to be enhanced by the performers, not effects, and the rapid change of location made the film hard to follow. The producers leaned on the big names in the cast to bring in people, but they forgot that the most important part of “Cats” is having competent performers with huge stage presence. The show comes alive because of its hard-working actors, not because of gimmicks and Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift is a singer and no more. She doesn’t have the stage presence or acting abilities to match even Idris Elba’s energy on stage, and though her performance sounds nice, it is soulless. This is the fatal mistake, because the success of “Cats” relies almost entirely on soul. 

The original stage show is filled with charming elements, like gorgeous handmade suits and sets designed to make the actors look like the real size of cats. The show stole audiences’ hearts by whisking them away to a story done with Broadway flair, where the importance of the plot was overshadowed by the extraordinary dancers and the magic of theatre. This movie, in an attempt to modernize the show for a film audience, ended up neutering the original’s charm and removing the factors that made it the longest-running musical on Broadway. I am listening to the music from the movie as I write this, and despite its shortcomings, I can’t help but sing along. This is because, just like the scene of Idris Elba perched naked atop a statue, the lyrics have been seared into my brain. Forever.