Thoughts: Cats (Play vs. Movie)

This post is something different than what I normally write. It has nothing to do with books and all about the musical Cats.

THE MUSICAL

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go see the musical with my mom and sister. I wouldn’t exactly say we’re theater buffs or anything, but we have seen quite a few musicals together over the years. When we left the theater after the show, we all had similar thoughts. The biggest one was “What did we just see?”. None of us had read what the musical was about prior to the show and we left a little confused. There seemed to be little plot with a ton of singing and dancing. I honestly almost fell asleep in the first Act. The music pretty much lulled me to sleep. The second Act was better and the story started coming together for me.

My overall thoughts on the musical were that while the singing, dancing, sets, costumes, productions were all amazing, it wasn’t my favorite. It was kind of boring. There will be a TON of people who disagree with me. I know this. Cats is highly celebrated. Obviously, it just wasn’t for me. It would be 3 out of 5 stars for me. I might have given it 2 stars if I didn’t think it was so well done for what it was.

So if I wasn’t a big fan of the musical why would I see the movie?

THE MOVIE

I have to admit I saw the Cats movie based on curiosity and star power. It’s been hyped just about everywhere. I was wondering how Hollywood would turn a slightly confusing musical into a movie. Honestly, I think they did a pretty good job. The screenplay was able to do something the musical didn’t. It made the story easier to follow and added in some moments where the characters talked instead of sang. The little changes here and there enhanced the story. The dancing, singing, and sets were beautiful. I did find the cat-like appearances of the cast a little creepy at times, but they looked like cats so…

As for that star power, I know you’re curious. I was surprised at how good some of the actors were. James Corden and Rebel Wilson were a couple of my favorite cats. I also really liked Francesca Hayward. I thought I would love Taylor Swift’s performance, but she didn’t take on as many cat-like movements as I thought she would. I could see her personal performance movements in the film, which surprised me. Not that she didn’t do a nice job, she did. There were just other actors who shined more.

Overall, I enjoyed watching  Cats the movie more than the musical. It wasn’t that it was necessarily better than the musical. (It probably wasn’t in all reality.) It was just easier for me to understand. Now, I kind of wish I could go back and re-watch the musical. I think I would enjoy it more because I would have a better understanding of the story — that there actually was a story.

Oh! I feel like I should report that my almost 12 year old loved it. It seemed like the four older women in the audience with us also did. I did see a younger couple leave before even half way into the movie, and a mother-son duo left about 3/4 in. So only 6 out of 10 watchers finished it.

22 thoughts on “Thoughts: Cats (Play vs. Movie)”

  1. Yeah I have no intention of going to see this, the trailer was creepy enough for me. I did actually go see the musical a long time ago and remember not being a fan. As you say there’s not really any story so I was kind of surprised they adapted it.

    I am glad you enjoyed it though, if it comes on TV I’d probably watch it but I’m not in a rush.

    1. Probably a good plan. 😉 I would say that you might appreciate it more than others because you have seen the musical. The biggest difference for me was that there was more dialog in between songs that explained what was happening. Also, the cats moving from set to set helped as well. I feel like I actually know what happened now, where after the musical I was so confused.

      1. I’m not sure I cared enough after the musical to be confused. Thankfully my mum who loved the show has taken the hint that I’m not going. Will be interesting to see what musical they decide to adapt next. Not sure there’re many good ones left.

  2. I have to say this is the first (somewhat) positive review I’ve seen of the movie. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it, though! And I’m glad that it made more sense for you than the play did. I thought Taylor Swift was supposed to be a major character, but I read something the other day that said she basically has one song and one line?

    1. Yes, her part is toward the end and minimal. I think my review is more positive because I didn’t like the original.😂

  3. I’m glad to see this pretty positive review about Cats! At one point my parents had the DVD of the musical and I remember watching it and thinking weird but still enjoyable (mostly for the songs). I get that the cat-like appearances creeped a lot of people out but I also think that going into the movie people were already super negative about it. And I’m not really sure I understand why there’s so much negativity around it (is it just about how the actors were made to look like cats)? But anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing it! Definitely intrigued by the all-star cast too 😝

    1. I don’t really know. The cats are super creepy in the film. I heard they’re going to redo them or something. I don’t know that I would have paid to go to it, but we had free tickets from a gift to use up.

  4. I have not seen any positive reviews until yours! I’m glad you had a good experience. I saw the play years ago and I remember that I liked the dancing, but it didn’t make that big an impression otherwise. I doubt I’ll see the movie, but I’m very happy to see the other side of the picture that most reviews have been presenting.

    1. Honestly, I would wait for it to show up on dvd or tv. You might appreciate it more since you saw the play.

    1. Thank you!
      If you watch it, just go in knowing it’s not like the most amazing musical movie ever. Probably wait for dvd.

  5. I’m a huge theater and musical nerd but Cats is one I’ve never really wanted to see. The movie is one I may watch on DVD/Netflix at some point just to experience it. The reviews for it have been hilarious, though, so at least I’ve enjoyed that!

  6. I’m glad you at least enjoyed it better than the play! I’ve only been seeing bad reviews. I have never seen Cats and honestly couldn’t say the first thing concerning what it’s about.

    1. Well, it’s a super confusing musical that I can say I didn’t like. The movie was better, but only because I could understand what was going on in it unlike the play. LOL

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