Cat People The Film
Myth and legend form a large part of how humans have entertained themselves for centuries. This has not changed although the media through which we transmit these stories has updated. They are available in print as well as on movie screens and have been for many decades. In the creation of a new type of urban legend or myth, the attention of a viewer can be caught and held so that they feel the need to return. This is what occurred in the case of the film, “Cat People” originally made in the 1940’s and then remade exactly 40 years later because it contained additional concepts that could be mined for entertainment purposes. This essays looks into both versions of that film.
This movie was made from a screenplay that was based on a short story called ‘The Bagheeta’. In the creation of the film some of the themes were expanded upon. The story follows Irena, a woman from Serbia who is descended from a race of people who have the ability to transform into felines when aroused. She is not sure of her heritage but is worried that she may b one of these cursed individuals due to clues in her upbringing. This leads to difficulty in her marriage because she is afraid that consummation will reveal her true nature. She seeks marriage counseling but her husband eventually falls for his assistant which brings out her feline rage. She begins to hunt people and animals and eventually she kills her therapist although he wounds her in the process.
The updated version
In the 1982 remake, the focus is more eon the sexual aspect of the plot than the horror. While there is still violence, the plot is redefined to contain elements of incest, dubious consent and several other themes that the original lacked. This movie also ends with Irena in feline form and captivity. Her would be lover having moved on with his assistant but keeping Irena caged rather than killing her outright. It is not stated clearly if their relationship continues in a sexual way or not. This is left up to the viewer’s imagination. This version was not met with as much acclaim.
The tradition of making new versions of movies has become even more common now than it was in the 1980’s. It is not that unlikely that a new ‘Cat People’ may be made yet again.
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