When Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical hits the big screen… Cats, a Tom Hooper movie based on the famous Broadway musical, will be out in French theaters on December 25, 2019. A movie made with CGI using the idea of the costumes of the musical and physically humanizing the different cats singing their monotonous chant all along the movie.
A musical movie starring Jennifer Hudson (Sing, Monster…) as Grizabella (singing the famous Memory song also sung by Barbra Streisand…), as well as Taylor Swift (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, The Giver…), James Corden (Ocean’s 8, Yesterday…), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect 3, The Hustle…), Jason Derulo, Ray Winstone (Point Break, King of Thieves…), Idris Elba (Avengers: Endgame, Hobbs & Shaw…), Ian McKellen (Beauty and the Beast, The Good Liar…) and even Judi Dench (Murder on the Orient Express, Artemis Fowl…) as Old Deuteronomy.
Based on the musical Cats. Once a year, over an extraordinary night, the Jellicle Cats gather for their great ball. Their leader, Deuteronomy chooses the one who can leave the Jellicle tribe and ascend to the Heaviside layer to be reborn and return to a new life.
Cats is a movie rather loyal to the musical written by Andrew Lloyd Weber in 1979 with very convincing performances by the actors and dancers fore a more modern staging a musical adapted for the movies should be. Honorable mention to Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, remarkable with a vocal performance of Memory which is surely the most famous song of the repertoire. A performance that has nothing to envy to Elaine Paige or Barbara Streisand...
Yet, the movie fails with its use of special effect for a half-human half-cat effect that is almost disturbing. A small problem the director has decided to correct with a new cut already in movies, but will it be enough to attract an audience, especially after the backlash of the trailers and the look of the characters?
Anyway, the movie has the merit of giving more meaning to the musical by overplaying the roles, the feelings and the different interactions in front of the camera. An interesting cinematographic vision of the exploitatio of the story and a dynamic and paced movie that is worth the travel to the movies, especially if you enjoy musicals.