‘Cats’: The Worst Thing to Happen to Cats Since Dogs

‘Cats’: The Worst Thing to Happen to Cats Since Dogs

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Editor-in-Chief

Stories change people. Books, musicals and movies hold the power to change lives. For me, “Cats” was that movie. The 110 minutes and eight dollars I spent on this movie were the turning point in my life. The inciting incident. See, after spending so much time and money on this movie, I realize those are 110 awful minutes and eight treasured dollars I’ll never get back and now, I value my time so much more. My eight dollars added to the mere $74 million Cats made in the box office on a budget of almost $100 million. Let’s take a deeper look at why this nightmare of a movie flopped.

Trying to recall the movie Cats is like recalling the dream you had a few nights ago. Some of the ridiculous parts stand out in your memory, but the rest form together into nightmare sludge. I remember the beginning vividly as the lights dimmed, the music built and the camera dropped from a sky full of clouds to the ground as we plunge into the ninth circle of hell. 

Despite its nightmarish qualities, the movie still received nominations for the acclaimed Golden Raspberry awards. Rebel Wilson eating cockroaches and stripping her fur coat to reveal another fur coat earned her a nomination for worst supporting actress. Jason Derulo and his CGI-neutered bulge earned a nomination for the worst screen combo. World’s Sexiest Man Idris Elba played the World’s Least Sexy Cat as his character, Macavity, for some reason wore clothes and later stripped out of them. The congregation of these traumatizing scenes earned “Cats” a nomination for the worst film of the year.

Now, don’t get me wrong there were good parts to this movie. For starters, the preview for “In The Heights” that came before this movie was wonderful. Like “Cats”, “In the Heights” is a Broadway musical turned movie. The key difference between the two, though, is relatability. While “In The Heights” tells a relatable story of immigrants, “Cats” tries to make a story of cats trying to be reborn seem… relatable.

Yet, the themes of the musical Cats stuck with viewers enough for it to stay on Broadway for over two decades. Grizabelle’s heartbreaking story of lost glamour related to millions of viewers. Other characters like the underdog (undercat?) Mr. Mistoffelees reminds us that everyone matters. These characters compel viewers to “Cats”… the musical. The limits of theatre make you focus on the characters and the themes. When introducing the story to the screen, director Tom Hooper stripped the show of its most important quality: suspension of disbelief. He replaced the leg warmers and whimsical sets of the musical with painfully realistic sets and disturbingly humanoid cats. It’s harder to suspend your disbelief when the CGI tries to be so realistic. 

Ultimately, this movie fails to read its audience and strips the source material of its charm. If this movie was made in the 90s the Bush administration would have used it as part of their “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Yet, everyone should still watch this movie. As a film enthusiast, it humbles you. It wasn’t until I watched Cats that I realized that I’ve taken good movies for granted. While the experience may have been the equivalent to waterboarding, “Cats” will always have a place in my heart as the first movie to make me question the limit of human power. What can’t humans do with technology? What should humans do with technology? How do I get the image of Rebel Wilson taking her fur coat out of my head?


TL;DR: Don’t watch it. Just don’t.

‘Cats’: The Worst Thing to Happen to Cats Since Dogs