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I just watched the 2019 remake of Cats. I have watched the original on VHS when I was young, but didn’t remember much of anything. I do like some musicals, but I’m not a musical buff and I tend to prefer more modern musicals like Moulin Rouge. I went into this pretty blind, and afterwards, I looked up some information, and I see it has been called the worst movie of all time. The worst movie ever made. I disagree with that. And here’s why.
Ok I have a few complaints before I can get to telling you why I actually liked cats. Here are some things I really disliked about it.
1.) The 2019 rendition of Memory is awful – I mean no offense. But compared to the original… It’s garbage. Here’s why. The 2019 actress – Hudson I believe right? Whoever, anyways she overacts. Her voice breaks to the point of being too shaky. She’s crying too strongly to the point that she honestly just can’t sing well. Compared to the original. The original is STILL powerful and emotional, but yet, it’s STRONG, her voice is smooth and beautiful and wonderful. I love the original song Memory SO much, and the 2019 version just, it’s bad. I’m sorry there, I said it. It’s bad. Yes, it is sad and emotional. I cried, shed a few tears. But it’s unbearably bad. I wouldn’t put this in my playlist, while the original, heck yeah, I’d listen to that outside of just this movie, anytime.
2.) I can’t really remember the original film well enough to compare the other songs, but damn, in the 2019 version, a lot of them are BAD!!!! My ears, man my EARRRRSSS, ah. So bad…. In fact the first 30-40 minutes of music is really bad!!!! I’m sorry.
Here’s some things I did like
3.) I like Tswift’s version of beautiful ghosts. I can’t remember the original version to compare it to. But I assume it’s equally beautiful.
4.) I like almost all of the songs after the first 30-40 minutes – but that’s TOO LONG to wait for a movie to get GOOD, a movie where music is telling the story, and is the most important part of the movie. Once the selection process begins to pick the cat to be reborn, it does get better, with many nice songs.
5.) I disagree with the bad reviews on two points. Here’s the first. I actually really like the graphics. I like the fur. I don’t find it weird. I don’t find their facial features weird, nor their body proportions. I am not a furrie, but I do like some furrie stuff. I grew up with furrie PC games of the 90s such as Inherit the Earth and Furcadia. So to me, I like seeing furrie culture. I don’t identify as a furrie myself, and I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I was not put off by it in the least. And compared to the VHS original, this one was much better. The set designs are very nice, and like I said, I like the computer generated fur. That’s my take. I liked the lighting and special effects and cinematography overall. I have no problems here.
6.) The second thing I STRONGLY disagree with the negative reviews is they all say the story doesn’t make sense. How? How does it not make sense? Are we watching the same movie? Are we living in a different planet? Come on. Just listen to the lyrics of the songs and you will understand the story. Here let me break it all down for you.
The story is about “the secret life of cats” where they go, what they do, at night when all the humans are asleep. Some cats in the film are house cats, but many are strays and abandoned or abused.
We have a saying in English that a cat has 9 lives. This is a very common saying and if you’re a native English speaker surely you have heard this expression.
So it makes perfect sense, that those cats who are abused or abandoned would want to move on to their next life. They want a chance to be reborn to have a better life because life is hard sometimes, for people, and animals alike. Just take a look at the feral cats on the streets or those in shelters awaiting homes and you can see this clearly in real life too. Not that hard to imagine that these animals are miserable and dream of a better life. Tswift’s song even says “all I wanted was to be wanted”.
So the story is about one day every year, one cat will be chosen by the eldest cat to be reborn and move onto the next life to hopefully find happiness. In order to be chosen, the cats all gather and tell a story about their own life through song and dance that pleases the elder cat. The elder cat then looks into their soul and selects the most deserving cat to reincarnate.
Almost every musical number is about one unique cat telling his life story. There’s some that love to eat, some that love to sleep. Some work hard helping humans, some are loved housecats, some like to get into mischief and break things, others are sneaky and like to play tricks. If you think about it, these traits are typically how we humans view our feline companions.
So everything still makes sense.
In the end there are a few key plot moments that move the story. Warning SPOILERS below:
1.) At the beginning of the film, Tswift’s character is abandoned on the street by a human. A group of cats rescue her and take her in.
2.) Old Deutronomy arrives to select the cat to be reborn
3.) Old Deuteronomy is kidnapped by a magical cat who is the main villain of the story. He wants to be reborn for greedy and selfish reasons and Old Deuteronomy says she will never choose him to be reborn.
4.) The other cats are trying to find a way to save Old Deuteronomy – for she is highly respected because she has been reborn already 99 times and given birth to most of the other cats.
5.) One cat amongst the remaining good cats is also a magician, but he doesn’t believe in himself. With the help of the other cats, he learns to believe in himself and is able to use his magic to rescue Old Deuteronomy.
6.) An old cat has been cast out of the pack for siding with the main villain but she tricked and wishes to rejoin the pack. She realizes she was happier with her pack and misses them. She’s been hiding in the shadows watching everything this whole time. Tswift sees her and drags her into the light and asks her to sing.
7.) Her song is so moving and reveals that she has a pure soul. Old Deuteronomy grants her wish to be reborn. As her spirit goes up to heaven, the other cats join together for one last song.
8.) After their final song, Old Deuteronomy passes on her wisdom to you, the one watching the film. She reminds you that cats are not that different from humans. You have seen them play, fight, struggle, and love one another. She gives you advice on how to gain the trust of a cat and encourages you to respect and be kind to cats.
9.) At the very end of the film, Tswift’s character is accepted into the pack and appears to have fallen in love with the good magician Mistofflees (however its spelled). Speculating they will probably give birth to the reborn cat through their love.
I think the story is pretty clear and concise. I enjoyed the story very much. I’m a huge animal lover, with cats being my favorite animals (domestic at least). So to me, the story was the highlight of the film and makes perfect sense in a fantasy world where cats really can reincarnate.
Still I dislike most of the music, especially compared to the original, so I can’t give it the highest marks.
I see it has like a 16%, I would at least give it a 50%. But that’s just me. You can watch it for free now on HBOMax and similar streaming services, so watch it and decide for yourselves.