The Cat Pact

The Cat Pact

***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Opting for a more offbeat look at the complexities of relationships than your average Hollywood sugar rush, The Cat Pact centres on a love triangle with a twist. Júlia is a thoroughly modern Barcelona student, with a thoroughly retro crush on her uncle. Ever since she was a girl she has been manufacturing pet problems, so that she can head down to his veterinary practice and have him run his hands through her furballs (of her cat, of course).

At 19, she now considers herself old enough to snare him for good and is constantly inventing stories to manufacture meetings. In her latest wheeze, Júlia (Rose Avalon) tells him that her pal Aparisi (Pau Roca) saved her cat Jo-Jo from certain death up a tree and now wants her to go out with him for an evening in Romeo and Juliet style. Aparisi, of course, knows nothing about this until Júlia informs him he has to help her in her mad ramblings so she can win the heart of Uncle David (Alberto Jiménez). Since Aparisi, in turn, is madly in unrequited love with Júlia he agrees to the ruse, which fails spectacularly when David's latest squeeze turns up.

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Not to be defeated, Júlia ensures that her cat 'escapes', leading both men on a merry dance across the rooftops of Barcelona, meeting the mad and the bad along the way (in a similar fashion to that in Cedric Klapisch's When The Cat's Away). Among the misfits en route, is a detective, a woman whose home is cat packed and a couple of fleeing illegal immigrants.

Watching Júlia’s plan run out of control like a cat sprayed with water is good fun and there is a decent amount of tension in the central triangle, but the episodic nature of the action reveals writer/director Joan Marimón’s TV credentials. As a short mini-series, the plethora of characters and situations would work quite well, but trapped within a trim runtime of just 98 minutes there’s too much going on. The central triangle of relationships is fine but the subsidiary characters have rather more quirk than quality.

Despite this, the film has a cheerful briskness, helped no end by excellent performances from relative newcomers Avalon, Roca – from whom I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more - and Jiménez. By shying away from easy resolution, it is always a cat’s whisker away from cliché and delights in the unexpected.

Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2008
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Moggy hunting and romance on the rooftops of Barcelona.

Director: Joan Marimón

Writer: Joan Marimón

Starring: Rose Avalon, Alberto Jiménez, Pau Roca, Belén Fabra, Eduard Soto, Alfredo Castellanos, Núria Megías

Year: 2007

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: Spain

Festivals:

Viva 2008

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