All fur coat and no knickers…..Cats

after nearly four decades of wondering how anyone could ever make a film of Cats, I”m guessing that we still don’t have an answer. Even though the film is out, the director is still tinkering with some of the less good effects. I suspect they won’t save the basically flawed concept.
OK, so I am an animator and in the course of that have seen many strange characters and creations and bizarre worlds that I have happily accepted, so the ‘cats’ in Cats and their environment did not worry me, but I wish there had been some coherence and their ever changing scale, and about who wore clothes and shoes and wedding rings, and who did not, rendering them effectively naked, and who had bumps and lumps and who did not, and what the convention about being on two legs or four was. And the feet – many feet just didn’t seem to have contact with the floor. Some of the CG faces reminded me of the notorious dog/man in the invasion of the body snatchers. The infamous lack of a plot did not worry me, and come on, there is a plot. There were some surprisingly effective sequences and some truly ghastly ones – mostly involving Rebel Wilson and James Cordon (when you have the beauty of TSEliot their adlibs are simply crass), and yes I was enormously moved by McKellen’s Gus and Dench’s Deuteronomy, but what I can’t forgive is the absurd editing chopping up the dancing with little rhyme nor reason, and the frantic camerawork – we simply were not allowed to see what was going on clearly. That’s possibly why the McKellen scene works as the camera sits and watches. Elsewhere the camera is so hyper., interrupting the movement of the dancers, so that any shape or structure of the dance was lost. Nor can I forgive the mice or the beetles. what the effing heck were they. And the literalness of the direction – leaves gathering at grizabella’s feet, and so we have a shot of the leaves clumsily gathering at her feet. So what to make of it – not sure. some imaginative touches, but i’m not sure the ‘world’ and its’ rules were thought through clearly. But heck I was moved on a couple of occasions, but never exhilarated by the dance as I should have been, thanks to the awful editing.
One way or another it is a significant moment in film history.

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