“Cats”: A Fever Dream

Melissa Freed

When I was invited to go see Cats my initial reaction was ‘no, god no’, but after thinking about it for a few minutes I decided I cannot miss what is sure to be a garbage fire of a film. Walking into a theater and seeing ten seats out of one hundred filled, I knew I was in for a treat. 

I had no knowledge of what the musical was even about which made the next hour and a half a very interesting awakening. It took me about a half hour to understand the plot, but the gist of it was that “jellicle cats” must compete by singing songs for Judy Dench’s character, Old Deuteronomy, in order to go to cat heaven, the Heaviside Lair. 

It was honestly remarkable the amount of A-list celebrities that agreed to be degraded beyond belief in this CGI nightmare. I can never unsee Ian McKellen licking a bowl of milk— no matter how hard I try. In addition, hearing the soundtrack for the first time, I


was at a loss for words for how unpleasant and strange most of the tunes went. Most of the time the songs had the same format of introducing the names of the cats and what they like to do. For example, Gumbie Cat a.k.a Jennyanydots played by Rebel Wilson has a whole song dedicated to her about eating mice and being lazy. At one point during her song, she unzips her catsuit and reemerges wearing bedazzled clothing. That is one image that still haunts me to this day. 

Despite its scathing reviews, I am ecstatic that I could say I went to see Cats in theaters because for the first time in a long time Hollywood has made essentially an unwatchable and frightening A-list film that couldn’t break even. Cats made a worldwide box office total of $59.7 million against a budget of $95 million, and I am proud to be one of the few to give them their proceeds. This CGI nightmare was one for the books, and I feel sorry for you if you had not experienced it in theaters. It was a fever dream to say the least.