Review by Camden Ferrell
Cats is a fantasy musical based on the iconic stage musical of the same name. Directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) this film is one of the most magical experiences of the year, and it is an absolutely astounding experience for fans new and old. This is a movie that is elevated by its fantastic performances, choreography, and abundant soul.
This film follows a cat named Victoria as she finds herself among a tribe of cats called the Jellicles. She arrives on the night of Jellicle Ball, a yearly ceremony where one cat gets chosen to go to the Heaviside Layer to find a new life. This is a simple premise which is perfect to serve as backdrop for all of the musical delight that follows in this film.
It’s astounding how Hooper was able to craft such an intimate yet booming musical adaptation in such an undeniably magical way. The sets and effects are beautiful and highly immersive. The execution of the musical numbers is done in such a beautifully meticulous way. This is the best movie of his career, and he perfectly captures the mystical insanity of this story.
This film is full of fantastic performances throughout. Francesca Hayward plays the central character Victoria. She is a fantastic performer, vocalist, and dancer, and she has such a captivating screen presence that truly takes you on the journey with her. Another standout of this film is Laurie Davidson who plays Mr. Mistoffelees. He gives such a quirky yet charming performance that is fantastic throughout. The cast also consists of Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, and Taylor Swift among other big names. They all are great in their respective musical numbers, and it really is amazing to see each of them showcase their talents throughout.
The music in this film is probably its strongest aspect. It encompasses a variety of musical styles and is full of fun lyrics and rhythms that really allow the actors to freely express their characters. Songs like Memory will pull at your heartstrings effectively while other songs like Mr. Mistoffelees will make you want to burst of your seat with explosive joy. Taylor Swift’s original song Beautiful Ghosts is also a welcome addition to the soundtrack that fits in perfectly.
The style of the cats is incredibly risky, but it pays off greatly. It forgoes the typical cat costumes for special effects to make the human actors look like actual cats. It’s creepy and eerie, but it’s oddly beautiful. It’s a bold choice that standouts and gives this film a unique style that elevates the magical qualities of this film. Rather than ruining the magic with obvious costumes, it uses these special effects to really immerse you into this fantasy.
This is one of the most joyful theater experiences of the year. The movie doesn’t waste a single second in telling its story with apt execution. It’s a quick-paced film that remains captivating and engaging for its entirety. The movie is bursting with heart and emotion in every scene, and it is obvious that this film was made by artists who are passionate about these characters and their stories. This film contains some of the best scenes of the year, and they are utterly awe-inspiring and divine. The cinematography and gorgeous ambiance along with stellar execution make this a one-of-a-kind experience that you don’t want to miss.
Cats is the surprise hit of the winter. It’s perfect for families this holiday season, and it is full of scenes that will overwhelm you with feelings of happiness and delight. It is one of the year’s best movies, and it is certainly the most magical one of all. Full of fantastic performances, great direction, music, and choreography, this movie is a must-see.