Grackles review CATS

Directed by Tom Hooper

Reviewed by Mandy L. Hughes and Brian Clifton

CATS is about, you guessed it, cats. Tom Hooper adopted the Broadway musical for the silver screen, and the Broadway version by Andrew Lloyd Webber is based on T.S. Eliot’s book of children’s verse called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The movie is a nesting doll of references—both by nature and throughout its script. Its “plot” follows Victoria, a cat abandoned on the turf of The Jellicle Cats (a local group of roaming cats) on the night of the Jellicle Ball—a yearly ritual in which one cat is granted access to the “heaviside layer” to be reborn as another cat. But the film, though it tries, is not so much about telling a story. Instead it spirals through the various characters that make up the Jellicles and their relationships to one another.

Mandy L. Hughes: So, CATS. I saw this when it opened, and I have to say that my expectations were pretty low. I generally like Tom Hooper’s stuff, but his Les Mis had some issues for me. After seeing the trailers, I was just perplexed by what they were trying to do, and now that I’ve seen it, I think I know: they were trying to make a movie. And that’s the mistake. Hooper’s Les Mis had a better thing, or at least an easier thing going for it, since that play has a pretty traditional type of plot. It was easy to make into a movie adaptation. There wasn’t that much adapting to do. CATS, I think, is much more of a problem because it has the least plotty plot of all. It’s really a