Read: Is Cats the movie good?

Cats the musical is one of my all time favourite live shows – it’s got great music, drama, comedy, and anthropomorphised felines who are just adorable. It also features Memory, which is without a doubt the best torch-song ever written. There is a feeling of anticipation that builds inside you as the song plays out, and when the diva belts out the words “touch me,” it’s a climax in more than one sense.  

And now there’s Cats – the movie. 

Will a film uphold the legacy of the live version?  

It’s an important question, because not all filmic versions of musicals manage the cross over – South Pacific, Les Miserables and Mamma Mia failed to do so. 

Thankfully, the answer is yes! Cats is stunning. 

This is partly because the cats themselves are just so damn fine. Kudos to the costume and makeup people who have created a gorgeous blend of human and cat features that make them appear familiar, unique and strangely sexy – they are in short a cosplayers dream come true.  

What’s more, their ears move, their tails twitch and their faces are so expressive you’d just instantly adopt one if you encountered it in real life. 

It is of course the music that is the true star of Cats, and the movie gets this right almost perfectly with each song well suited to the actor performing it.

I mentioned Memory earlier, and Jennifer Hudson managed to deliver one of the most heart-rending versions I’ve encountered. She didn’t really look quite the part – she’s far too beautiful and glamorous to be a true Grizabella, but who cares, it’s the voice that matters!

Most of the cast were very good and I particularly loved the quirky, amusing and occasionally touching cameos provided by Ian McKellen, James Corden, and Rebel Wilson.  

I hate to say it, but the weak spot in the film was Judy Dench as Old Deuteronomy. Yes she’s an international treasure, and casting a woman in the role is woke, but her voice was a little weak.  

That aside, Cats is a magnificent movie. If you are already a fan, but have seen trailers that have put you off, go and see it.  

And if you are not a fan of musical theatre, firstly, what’s wrong with you? And secondly, this movie might just help you see the light. 

CATS

In New Zealand Cinemas 26th December 2019

110 Minutes

Starring:  James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward. 

Director: Tom Hooper 

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