The internet, scratch that, society has a unique fascination with cats. You hardly see other animals adore and practically worship other species as we do with our ‘feline friends’. Yet we constantly opine about what cats think about us? In 2016, we got unparalleled access to the minds of the internet’s favourite animal as we find out what happens when a businessman uses one of his Nine Lives.
Ostentatiously wealthy Tom Brand has it all, yet he still wants the highest tower in the state. At the cost of spending time with his family. His daughter wants ideally a cat for her birthday. So, to make up for the neglect, he sets out to buy one. When the world’s worst satnav takes him to a peculiar cat shop, he’s lumbered with a cat he doesn’t like and late to sort out his tower. After he arrives and a co-worker attempts to kill Tom (for control of the company), Tom winds up not dead, but in the body of said cat. Now he must learn to adapt, as he attempts to save his company, his families and himself.
Kevin Spacey is an interesting choice, he was known for his vocal talents sure but would it enough as the main star? Yet here in his ‘internal monologue’ brings a whole new perspective over the life of a feline. Watching a C.G.I. cat getting drunk and slurry on decades-old spirits is a delight, and just how Tom’s methods of communication are perceived as typical cat behaviour does suggest how our cat companions might be reaching out to us… and calling us dumb in the process.
Throughout the film has this muted high contrast look (like a west Anderson film on a diet.) and with its playful choice of songs on the soundtrack, the film has a slight off-beat feel, that would lend itself to a cult classic if given the chance. Tom’s relationships are complicated, to say the least. All this empire-building has left Tom with two families, a daughter who just wants to bond with her dad, an older son who just wants to appease his father, an ex-wife who only visits the family out of duty, and a phone-obsessed daughter to boot. We spend a lot of time with them during our 1.5 hours and it’s intriguing to see all these characters interact, with or without the cat.
Nine Lives is a curious cat, it combines comedy and heart, with a sizzle of uniqueness that makes it feel destined for much more than a typical family affair. Please, even if you only have just one life to spare, I suggest you spend it with this Deadpan fuzzy feline.
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