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|Laufzeit:||Ca. 110 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
I love the cinema. Not only because of the very special atmosphere in the cinema hall, but also because of the variety that can unfold there again and again on the screens. There is always something for everyone - because, as we all know, tastes are different. And that is a good thing. As a film critic, I see it as my task to distance myself from my own personal feelings and ask: Does this film serve its target group? Will it make those people happy, entertain them or inspire them in any way? After all, as someone who loves the cinema, I would like as many people as possible to visit the movie theatres.
So I try to find something positive in every film. That doesn't always succeed, of course, and then this must be said. Why the long preface? Very simple: I don't want it to look as if I'm just jumping on the bandwagon of those who almost enjoy the musical adaptation "Cats". Because this movie doesn't deserve to be torn from start to finish - even if it is anything but good. The sets and equipment alone are really great and offer some convincing show values. And the cast is - with some exceptions - really impressive. So, what's the reason why "Cats" still doesn't really want to work?
It can't be because of the story. The fact that the film would not have a plot in the classical sense should not surprise anyone. Because that was already missing in the musical version. Loose based on the book "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, "Cats" tells the story of a horde of cats, the Jellicle Cats, who meet once a year for the Jellicle Ball, at the end of which one of the cats is chosen to be reborn. The young street cat, Victoria, witnesses this event for the first time. The spectator accompanies her as she is introduced to the cats who could be the chosen one in the end.
Yes, there is not much more to say about the plot. To criticize this rudimentary framework is just as pointless as grumbling about the songs. Because they are just a matter of taste. But unfortunately, there are some aspects of this film adaptation that are not really worth talking about. Most of all the design of the cats, which despite several reworkings after extreme criticism of the trailers just looks creepy. Moreover, the proportions are seemingly arbitrarily implemented: sometimes the cats seem much too big for their surroundings, sometimes much too small. Visually, this simply seems too inconsistent to work.
Then there are the acting performances. Some act weakly, others too hard. Rebel Wilson, for example, plays exactly the same role as a cat that she plays in every other movie. That's not funny anymore, but simply embarrassing. And newcomer Francesca Hayward may be a great ballet dancer, but her acting skills are limited to a facial expression that is just annoying after a few moments. On the other hand, there are great actors like Ian McKellen, but their acting looks silly at the latest when they have to hiss or meow. And when Jennifer Hudson sings "Memories" with a "Give Me the Oscar" intensity, with snot running out of her nose out of fervor, it seems almost ridiculous, considering the cat design.
Overall, "Cats" seems as if it was only created in this form because it is now technically possible, but not because there is really an artistic vision behind it. The animated cat fur may be great animated, but just because you can do it, you don't have to do it right away. Nevertheless: Of the musical adaptations that will be released in 2019, "Cats" is not the worst. I think "I've never been to New York before" is even worse for one simple reason: In this case, it was so far removed from the stage version that everything that actually made the musical so successful has completely disappeared. "Cats", on the other hand, stays very close to the successful original and tries to make it even bigger and more visually stunning. Therefore the movie is worth seeing for big fans of the musical. If you don't know the stage version or don't like musicals that much anyway (or if you don't like people dressed up as animals or animated people like me), you should stay away from this movie!
An information about the German version: Here not only the (few) dialogues but also the songs were dubbed, which you can see very clearly. If you want to see stars like Taylor Swift or Jason Derulo not only (as cats) but also hear them, you can't get around the original English version!
Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp