Synopsis: Based off the manga of the same name, Cat Soup follows the misadventures of two siblings as they struggle for survival in a bizarre and dangerous landscape. Largely free of dialogue, the story largely centers around the quest to retrieve the soul of the older sibling. However, the abstract approach makes for a film open to interpretation as well as a free form approach to storytelling. 

 

Positives

  • Unique imagery and sequences that are beyond normal description
  • Great character design, not just of main characters
  • Dark humor adds some levity to the production
  • Could appeal to fans of Anime, Horror, or experimental film
  • Captures the surreal and depressing approach of the manga themes
  • great sound design
  • memorable visuals

Negatives

  • Tragically short
  • May be too abstract for some
  • Disturbing content
  • lack of dialogue does not reflect the manga
  • Deserved of re-master as existing copy can feel rough

General Thoughts

Cat Soup is a truly unique experience, that varies from being slightly abstract to arthouse surrealism. A prime example would be the circus scene, which contains a few different feats by the performers. The opening act shows a wizard cutting up his assistant only to summon up a storm that draws the pieces back together, disturbing and odd but quantifiable. However, the follow features a large cloud like being giving birth to a bird of some kind that explodes into a storm cloud that flood the land, offering an odd spectacle hard to really define.

This constant flux of light absurdity to mind bending sequences makes for an oddly hypnotic experience. Highlighted by great character design and a strong sense of direction that captures the surreal elements in a complimentary style.

Final Verdict

Cat Soup will definitely not be for everyone, as a fan of horror and surrealism, I even found the logic somewhat difficult to follow. Adding in the morbidity of some of the scenarios the film also creates an odd car crash situation where it can feel like you want to look away but can’t. Ultimately, there is nothing else out there quite like Cat Soup, and those who are adventurous and enjoy having their perceptions challenged should check it out.

Final Score

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