When Robert walked into a movie theater in a university town, Margot, who was working at the franchise counter, looked at him as he approached the check-in counter. He “looks like Apatow’s best friend,” she texted her friend, Taylor, smiling at her intelligence. “So tall, black and…problem?” Taylor replied.
From start, Catman content with itself, signaling the clarity of the extensive, forewarning, and often patronizing supplemental material the film adds, ruining almost anything interesting about its source material.
The annoying thing is Catman really should have and could have worked. It is based on the 2017 short story written by Kristen Roupenian that appear in New Yorkers, before turning social media, the blogosphere, the literary world, group texts, brunches, and malicious internet forums into a fiery hell of discourse. When the fire hydrant finally quells an argument, it ignites another realm of ideology and wreaks havoc once again.
“Cat Man,” as it appears in New Yorkers, is the story of a girl dating a guy, recounting her private thoughts about gender dynamics, power imbalances, chemistry, and her feelings about sex. sex and romance in the modern world. Is he harmless and charming? Is he really a predator? Is it unfair to assume the latter? Doesn’t she assume the latter? What role did she play in “lead him”? Should the concept of “lead someone” even exist anymore?
They are compelling questions that internet culture has spread into other difficult debates. Is the story good or not? Does questioning whether it is good reflect an inherent misunderstanding? After all, this style of writing is often considered excellent from a male perspective. There are questions about whether it’s fiction or auto-fiction, and whether that matters.
What about Margot, the narrator’s prerogatives and her position of power? Perhaps she was unfair to Robert. She even embarrassed him. Or is it her? Maybe she’s just saying what she thinks, no matter how offensive that might be – that’s the point of a story like this anyway.
It was all very juicy. It was tiring. It’s the perfect fodder for a Very Right Now movie.
Nicholas Braun aka Cousin Greg the words heirand Emilia Jones‘s lovely breakthrough CODA, has been cast in the lead role, the epitome of the exciting It Stars casting process. It premiered at Sundance Film Festival, where it easily ranks as one of the most anticipated projects in the mountains. It’s like giving the green light to movies through AI. All have meaning.
And then it all went very wrong, especially with a franticly interested ending from where the “Cat Man” essay ends. It probably ranks among the most unnecessary and ridiculous endings I’ve ever seen. After repeatedly spoiling everything with nuance and ambiguity about all of the questions listed above — undermining the audience by over-explaining how we should interpret events — that ending is the final dump in the trash can.
But there are things about Catman that, in the first place, really worked.
Braun and Jones were amazing. He’s the perfect actor to pose the question “is he clumsy and awkward to date, or is he going to kill me” befitting Margot’s paranoia, whether that be? necessary or ridiculous. And Jones telegraphs all of one’s contradictory urges unable to resist the feeling that, because she is a young woman, she could always be in danger, while always wanting to give her fair chance. for a nice guy.
Geraldine Viswanathan (block out) is especially great as Taylor, whose extreme feminism and militaristic insistence on boundaries make Margot always uncomfortable—but also necessary for her to be vigilant and protect herself. me. There are some extremely comical moments in the first act of the film, when there seems to be a self-consciousness about the short story and the numerous discussions it provokes. Too quickly, however, that self-referencing turns into didactic interpretation.
Although it never appeared in New Yorkers As the story goes, the film begins by flashing a quote by Margaret Atwood across the screen, to make sure we understand the lesson of what we’re about to see before it even begins. It’s a red flag. That this is a quote is another: “Men are afraid of women laughing at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” At that time, it wouldn’t be surprising if the director burst through the screen Porky-Pig-in-Looney-Tunes Style to say, “HEY FRIENDS, JUST LET YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT AND WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO SAY HERE!”
Not long after the film arrives, Margot’s professor (Isabella Rossellini), an expert on entomology, offers Robert a not-so-subtle monologue as a threatening metaphor: Did you know, Robert, when a male bee has sex with the queen bee of the colony, his penis falls off afterwards and he dies? Or is it the females who work tirelessly to protect the queen and keep her alive? Robertshe speaks, Do you understand what is about to happen to you at the end of this movie? (OK, I probably added the last one.)
Margot and Robert’s relationship started over texting, with great flirtations. When they finally have their first date, it’s a mixed bag. She suddenly begins to notice things she doesn’t like about him, such as his crazy obsession with Star Wars. The fleeting moments make her wonder if he’s a typical toxic asshole, but then others end up liking him.
The implication of the short story – the plight of a woman who always has to wonder if this is a “bad guy” – is as clear as day, as Catman, the film, interjects their interactions with the bizarre, violent fantasies Margot has, in which Robert traps and assaults her. Instead, all the complexities of their motivations are articulated and simplified in another imaginary setting, in which they undergo therapy and share aspects of their story. these trigger encounters.
Margot starts having sex for the first time, but when night falls, she tortures herself to see if she wants to or not. She argues if now, because she has “started” everything, she has to go through it.
Sex is terrible. She decided she didn’t want to see him again. Taylor steals her phone and sends him a text with a clear explanation. What remains is to see how he reacts: is he really the bad guy, or is it just another flirting that ends awkwardly and they’re overthinking things.
In Catman, the movie, nothing more to explain. It crosses over where Roupenian ends his story, turning the story into a full-blown revenge thriller/fantasy; Prospective Girl by End destination. It feels completely inappropriate and crass, the exploitation of thorny but entertaining points about the killer taking away whatever background the film had and launching rockets into the stratosphere of absurdity.
It’s a huge disappointment, one that is bound to lead Catman discourse into a new lane. As if it was worth it.