Chatty Catties, co written and directed by Pablo Valencia, is an official selection of the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival. The movie stars Megan Hensley and Matthew Grathwol along with John Autry II as the voice of Leonard.
Shelby (Hensley), an aspiring film maker with emotional and substance abuse issues, and Leonard (Autry), a cat, have had an interesting relationship as owner and pet and their conversations have often been confrontational, but only because Leonard is always looking out for his own self interests. When Shelby begins dating a musician named Nate (Grathwol), Leonard does everything he can to keep the relationship from falling apart although again for his own selfish interests.
Director Pablo Valencia, who also co-wrote the film, has created an oddly strange, yet interestingly unique film that I honestly couldn't take my eyes off of. Yes, this is a world where cats can communicate with their owners although it's treated as such a normal thing, you quickly buy into the concept which is key to the whole thing working. Aside from this being a sort of dark yet wacky comedy, there are actually some very interesting themes being explored and the cats are used in ways to bring them to the forefront.
To help explain some of this, I have to add these words from the director: "I wanted the cats to sound different from the humans and I wanted a way to communicate the film’s themes. Casting deaf and hard-of-hearing actors allowed me to do that; it also gave these actors an opportunity to play the kinds of roles that they are not normally offered, roles in which their hearing loss is not part of the plot. Learning about deaf culture and working with these actors was truly a rewarding experience."
I almost feel silly admitting I like this movie, but there it is. Chatty Catties, is fun, weird, and most importantly, a very smart film that makes you think about it long after it's over so please check it out if you have a chance.
CLICK HERE to see my picks from the 2015 SIFF lineup.