Even Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks Cats movie is ‘ridiculous’


Andrew Lloyd-Webber has turned a full 180-degrees on Cats, the 2019 adaptation of one of Broadway’s longest-running shows. And when the person involved in the adaptation of their own brainchild derides it as ‘ridiculous’, then I fear there really is no hope for the film, now or ever.

Whichever way you look at it, Cats will be remembered as an atrocity. A spectacularly woeful, regrettable failure of a film. Last year I defended Cats with as much vigour as I could considering the opposition, accounting for its merits as a long-running musical and its talented performers. But while I still stand by my principles, this enthusiasm has slowly waned with every new report of a butt cut. It is now, and always will be, remembered as a travesty. Alas.

Nobody needs reminding that a whole myriad of things went wrong in the production of Tom Hooper’s would-be showstopper. Shoddily-arranged CGI left fur incomplete and actor’s faces; suggestive dancing felt inappropriate on every level for a movie with a 12/PG-13 certificate. If it weren’t for the kids and old people who enjoyed cinema discounts and two hours of psychedelic colours, I doubt the film would have found much of a fan-base at all.

Giving voice to his disappointment with the film, Webber said: 

The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show. The whole thing was ridiculous.

The Tony-winning composer of Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar saw Cats endure 18 years on Broadway and 21 years in the West End, making it London’s longest-running musical before Les Miserables. He worked with Taylor Swift to write a new song for the film, ‘Beautiful Ghosts.’ But even this popular musical material, played by an impressive cast (Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, and Idris Elba), somehow suffered from such poor judgement that it will never garner respect.

I’m not sure Hooper is entirely to blame. His adaptation of Les Miserables was popular enough to get him noticed the right people and you know, sometimes $100 million mistakes happen. Maybe it’s on us, for extending this discourse and keeping the film in memory (you had to allow me one Cats lyric.) Sometimes it’s best just to let sleeping cats lie.

Source: Den of Geek

Sian Francis Cox
Sian is Flixist’s UK Editor and has written for sites including Escapist Magazine, Destructoid, and Film Enthusiast.