‘Cat People’ is a film brought to our screens around 1942 by the director Jacques Tourneur. The film is on the other side of the gender scale. As we follow a new immigrant to America Irena Dubrovna Reed as she battle with the inner urges and sexual tension she has over (her soon to be love in the film) Oliver Reed.
The stalking sequences -- as 'other woman' Jane Randolph is pursued through Central Park or menaced in a swimming pool by an almost-unseen force -- are still chilly – Kim Newman
The story is simplistic and has great usage of input the woman spin on a relation and the pain and happiness which comes with it. The story begins as Oliver introduces himself to Irena in a local zoo where she sketches. From then on the relation blossom and by ten minutes in (if that) they’re married and in living together. After confront her husband about her belief and worries about the legend of her village and the danger that it may have on him. They call in a psychiatrist to help uncover the real reason for the worries she has. Still this ends up failing her insanity (supposedly) begins to upset and annoy her husband who looks towards a new venture with work colleague ‘Alice Moore’. The result of, which see Irena get jealous and full of hatred attempt to seize any possible chance of attacking her nemesis, whilst transformed into a jaguar. Sadly when kissed by the psychiatrist the evil within takes over and she is given the chance to take her first victim. Only to be cut short when entering the zoo she is attack by a jaguar she attempts to set free plus half a sword which is in her back. The film end on a tragedy with the husband realising his mistake and can be possible be consider as dramatic irony. Yet he still has the possibility to allow himself to ultimately be together with Alice.
What did upset me at this very part is that although we had been told about the curse that had been subject to all the women of here village back in Serbia. I still question why it takes so long for the director to imply that the lead is actual one of the cat people so to speak as on when we reach the classic ‘Dark Alley, Someone following me seen’ do we understand that all along she believe the curse because she has actual got that curse.
'Frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats, and there was an undertone of sexual danger that was more ominous because it was never acted upon.' – Roger Ebert
Yet moreover the most impress notion in the actual venture was the technique of using shadow and dark and light to complete create that dark gloomy effect. The effect was immense as it kept you on your sit especially when you see the typical silhouette of the Jag walking down the stair and around the pool. Plus to top that the idea of not being able to be seduce as you will become a killer basically is an in-genius plot as a viewer can see the irony and feel the sadness that a women would feel not being able to experience that final carnal act of passion with someone they love. This lead to a very sensitive subject as in inherit the female side of sex and how they are passionate slender feline who are also quite ferocious as the man when having sexual urges. Interestingly enough I feel unlike trying to depict wanting love as the La Bête et La Belle had displayed I can see that Jacques wanted to depict and give the imagery that for a female, intimacy is a key to a man heart as if you don’t show the right emotion like Irena did. You will lose your man. I all honest quite a sexist view and possible egotistical. In 1942 it made for a great cinematic.
My final thought are that this still display a more softer, vulnerable side to a woman and her sexual tension and yet display how they effectively lust the same carnal urge but it a more love orientated way then ferocious beast type of way that male tend to depict and show even till this day. Furthermore ultimately although taking a long time to get the story into fully motion. This is definitely one to watch when dissemble and analysed it is nothing more than a masterpiece of metaphorical and artistic talents.
Apart from Simon, the acting's pretty ropey, but the film is packed with eerie moments — the famous walk through the park gave rise to the term “bus”, meaning a false shock – David Parkinson