isla de luca’s review published on Letterboxd:
i saw cats last night and i still haven’t recovered. here is a play-by-play of my experience
- the movie begins. the audience is rife with anticipatory giggles. some lady in the back row loudly says “can we be quiet now, please? let us watch the movie in silence” in a displeased russian accent.
we will inevitably disappoint her
- in the first 5 minutes, while crying with laughter, i decide this movie is actually about a human who gets genetically engineered into a cat and is exiled to a furry community
- 5 minutes after that, i think about how good a movie this would be if it was hand-drawn animation and not cgi people-cats, and i become absolutely furious
- mice and cockroaches have human faces and bodies. the audience is screaming.
- this film comes very close to having a dog on screen. i start sweating in dread of what it might look like. the dog is never shown.
- none of the humor is funny
- during the slow parts i start to imagine other celebrities in full cat cgi to amuse myself
- cat idris elba sexily thanos-snaps another cat out of existence. audible confusion ripples through the audience.
- the cats do some extremely horny body work involving their tails. the audience is making disgusted noises. several people yelp “oh no” very loudly
- at the end of a song, the throng of cats start “applauding” by slapping their hands on the ground and saying “meowmeowmeowmeowmeow”. this instigates a fight-or-flight response in me so strong that i nearly bolt out of the theater
- during an awkward silence the camera cuts to a cat making a “yikes” kind of grimace and the whole theatre laughs because that is the exact emotion we are all feeling
- a cat helicopters into the ceiling and is vaporized by cat idris elba. a man in the audience yells “gottem!!” at the top of his lungs
- most cats are naked but somehow cat idris elba manages to be far more naked than all of them. the audience is screaming, again
- memoryyyyyyyy...... all alone in the moonliiiiiiight...... “please,” begs the russian lady in the back of the theatre, sounding defeated, “don’t laugh. not now.”
- the actor who plays the main character gray cat who never gets a song explaining who he is (i am told he is munkustrap) is dead serious about this role. he is a professional. he is feeling being a cat so hard. look at his face at literally any point (but especially during the final epilogue song) and i guarantee he will be having an intensely invested serious face journey. his shoulders must be aching from carrying this entire film.
- 110 minutes later, or maybe years: the credits roll. the audience cheers raucously. we exit the theatre in a daze. one of my friends goes home with a high fever. 10/10