It cannot be shock anyone in the lead Cat person – virus adaptation New Yorker short story by Kristen Roupenian, lit-fuse literature that launched a million response points and the sun-surface-hot ticket at Sundance – the sex scene. It’s as inevitable as something that will be “bad sex”, regardless of whether it’s bad sex or not. The only question is the level of evil that will prove when the two people at the center of this swirling vortex will meet, and whether it will make its partner on the page appear pale in comparison. (Another, more pressing question is: How the hell do you adapt Cat person in the movie at all? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
At this point, we followed the evolution of the relationship between Margot (CODEEmilia Jones), a 20-year-old college student, and Robert (SuccessionNicholas Braun), a 33-year-old man. We saw them meet at his workplace, at a jewelry store in a local theater. You know, the kind with lots of revivals and trailers for classic monster movies featuring “a young, vulnerable woman!!!” An awkward flirtation led to daily text exchanges and inside jokes, and a late-night task of providing Margot with food in the form of Fruity Pebbles, the kind of gesture that falls somewhere between suspicious and sweet. Finally they go on a proper date, which involves sightings The Empire Strikes Back – one of his favorite things; don’t care if you get it Star Wars boring movies – in the same theater where he works. Several beers and a terrible first kiss later, they returned to Robert’s place.
He pours Margot whiskey, but doesn’t give her a chance to drink it. When they get to his bedroom, he puts on Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” (“Don’t you understand?/Oh, my little girl.”) Robert alternates between frantically undressing Margot and ripping off her clothes. In the story, she imagines looking back on this terrible moment—the day—she fell in love with her future boyfriend and they laughed about it; this time, thanks to the brilliant additions that screenwriter Michelle Ashford and director Susanna Fogel bring to the table, Margot carries on an ongoing conversation with herself as it happens. Abandon the mission, says Margot coolly leaning against the wall. I can’t, it’s too late, answered Margot trapped between the man grinding on her. I might bother him. Okay, let’s get this over with, they both reluctantly agreed.
What follows is a profoundly stupid idea and a nuclear-level justification that you may want to avoid trying again. Playing out in real time, it’s a symphony of sexual faux pas, men’s indifference, conflicting statements and ideas about consent (which apparently “let’s take it lightly” translates to stimulating yourself with someone else’s hand without asking for permission) and a porno-scenario for fun. It ends with Margot having an out-of-body experience, looking down as Robert, in full oil-derrick mode, treating her like a prop. When he’s done, he whispers “Pretty girl.” It is the opposite of physical intimacy. Like the pure, negative gender of hay.
This is a screenshot of the Cat personThe second most toxic moment on the page feels designed to provoke outrage, and to evoke at least a minimal reaction from viewers: Is any Does this look familiar? Has this ever happened to you? A thought that many female viewers and, perhaps, a minority of male viewers know, will recoil from recognition. And as in Roupenian’s story, this encounter will lead to Robert sending touching dolphin emojis, Tamara (Geraldine Viswanathan) writing a strong kiss on her friend’s phone, and that series of texts that gradually descends into cruelty, dude-bro rage and the dismissal of one word that means Freudian volumes : “Whore.”
Fogel levels this byde rigueur how to have texts appear on screen as they appear, each incoming ding doubling as a klaxon warning. It doesn’t make the growing sense of dread any less overwhelming. The camera slowly moves towards the two young women as Robert’s revolver guns pile up, one after the other. Tamare’s responses are getting more and more OMG. Margot’s face is always a mask of emotional turmoil.
That’s it New Yorker the translation ends, and like many short stories — “A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud,” “The Battler,” “The Lottery” — it is the cohesion and connecting of the dots that give Roupenian’s. Cat person deep charging capacity. That last line of shots is visible over half of the site Cat person The movie, however, runs into a major problem that affects this entire endeavor: how to flesh this out into a three-act narrative that functions as a two-hour film. As Fogel and Ashford reported The Hollywood Reporter a few days before their glitzy Sundance premiere on Saturday night, they decided to turn this into a go out-style, social-commentary horror flick. It is a type of Eureka! a choice that sounds smart until you see the result, at which point you might find yourself going: Um, really?
Isn’t it Cat person it can’t be a horror story – it opens with a Margaret Atwood quote about men fearing humiliation and women fearing to be killed by men, and the movie taps into the natural fear one might feel in a potentially dangerous situation. Like, dealing with an unstable dude-brother. (The length of Braun and Cousin-Greg’s discomfort in his own skin is equipped here.) The addition of the haunting music that plays in the innocent scenes from the day already feels like a good one. Ditto something as simple as Jones walking down a dark street at night; any number of women will tell you it’s an IRL source of anxiety worthy of a John Carpenter score.
But after the film commits to that idea, Cat person it begins to clash against its class rules and boundaries in the worst possible way. There’s already a lot of stuff thrown in to make this look longer: Isabella Rosselini teaching about queen ants, I hope Davis turns Margot’s mother into a needy narcissist, extra business about campus politics and Sondheim’s production. In the forest (where Prince Charming is the problem), imaginary therapy sessions, Viswanathan’s character arguing with someone on his Reddit known as “Vagenda.” Not to mention the events that have been mentioned in passing in the story are dramatized in full sequence.
By trying to shape this outfit into a horrible prefab template, however, Cat personindeed, his cup overflows; And so we get a climactic scene that involves a fight, a fire, and Margot going from the “Concession-Stand Girl” (Robert’s derogatory nickname) to the last girl who can’t be coerced. At worst, it seems to depend on the assumption that many of the latter’s actions and feelings of threatened security are true. he mistake – a move that seems like WTF is the best. These things should add context to the culture that produced these issues. Instead, it reduces everything to weak satirical teas and stock horror-movie beats. Toxic masculinity may be the beast within today’s men, but the attempt to give that form to cinematic characters falls flat.
What the movie does well is, of course, the movies themselves. Robert’s favorite actor is Harrison Ford, and he speaks the dialogue The kingdom The scene where Han Solo talks to Leia before kissing her. When she sends Margot a postcoital montage of Ford’s greatest hits the next day, Tamara explains how the scenes unfold. Indiana Jones movies together Blade Runner sell the idea that women are not raised so much as they are successful at will. The sounds of the 1950s trailer playing in Margot’s theater, about the evil that is revealed to damsels in distress, are not accidental. And, we guess, it’s a piece of American Graffiti we see that it normalizes a 12-year-old hanging with an older guy. Don’t even get us started on the song and dance routine Margot and her mom do for her stepdad: Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “My Daddy’s Heart” [shudder] since the 1960s Let’s Make Love. You can’t say that Cat person shy about taking the medium to work by selling a love experience that’s more than a little curled. If only it was strict and rigorous about the source material itself.