Cat Soup 2001 – Should You Be Watching This Experimental Short Film? Review With Spoilers


Have you watched Cat Soup 2001?

Well, the movie is all about a surreal and imaginative journey through the extraordinary tale of Nyata and his older sister, Nyaako. The narrative is filled with fantastical encounters, symbolic twists, and the resilience of familial bonds. Undeniably this narrative weaves together a unique tapestry of emotions and challenges.

Join TOTT and the feline siblings, as we navigate a world where psychopomps, giant birds, and mystical flowers converge. This leads to a conclusion that leaves the boundaries between reality and fantasy delightfully blurred.

Without any further ado let us get going with-

Cat Soup 2001 Credit - J. C Staff
Cat Soup 2001 Credit – J. C Staff

Cat Soup 2001 – The Plot

Nyaako, the elder sister of Nyata, lies gravely ill in her room. By a stroke of misfortune, Nyata accidentally drowns in the bathtub. While clinically dead, he witnesses his sister departing the house hand in hand with the psychopomp Jizō. Nyata, compelled, follows them. Attempting to reclaim his sister from Jizō, he finds himself unable, as Jizō firmly clings to her, refusing to release her.

In a peculiar turn of events, Nyaako splits in two, with Jizō retaining half of her soul, while Nyata escapes with the other half. Jizō leaves a clue about a flower that can reunite the lost half-soul and walks away with it.

In the interim, Nyata’s father discovers him in the bathtub and successfully revives him. The entire family gathers in Nyaako’s room to realize that she is spiritually deceased. Carrying the half-soul, Nyata approaches and reinstates it in her body through her nose. Nyaako awakens, now melancholic and semi-catatonic.

Following their mother’s instructions, the siblings set out to retrieve fried tofu. On their journey, they chance upon the Big Whale Circus, catching the final act featuring a colossal flightless bird that triggers an all-encompassing flood of various kinds of weather. Seeking refuge on a sampan with a pig, they consensually and partially consume the pig.

As God holds the world aloft to drain the water down his arm, the trio finds themselves stranded in a desert. While the cats beat the pig to death, it bites off Nyata’s arm. A local dollmaker materializes to sew on a replacement salvaged from another cat.

Navigating the desert, they are drawn to a house by the aroma of food and are invited inside by a man. After being fed, the man attempts to turn them into soup, attacking them with scissors. In a twist of fate, he tumbles into the cauldron, and Nyata, using the scissors, dissects him. The cats escape and continue through the dehydrated desert.

Nyata digs and discovers an elephant made of water, which cools them off and accompanies them until it eventually evaporates due to the heat. God accidentally interrupts the flow of time and disrupts space, leading to the cats playing with the time-frozen scenes. Father Time eventually restores the flow of time, showcasing various scenes of events rapidly progressing or reversing. Ultimately, the cats find themselves back on their boat in the ocean.

After dusk, they drift into a shallow marsh adorned with tin sculptures of plants and mechanical animals, where they come across the sought-after flower. Placing the flower on Nyaako’s face restores her to normal, and they return home together.

The entire feline family leisurely watches TV in their house. Nyata leaves momentarily for the toilet, and upon his return, he discovers each family member disappearing one by one into thin air. The TV show also vanishes, leaving only a flickering screen behind. Outside, the nearby lamppost goes out, plunging the house into darkness. The film “turns off,” leaving only a flashing screen of static.

Things I Liked From Cat Soup 2001

  1. Sibling Bond: The initial setup of Cat Soup 2001 establishes a strong bond between Nyata and Nyaako, and Nyata’s determination to retrieve his sister’s soul after a tragic incident adds an emotional depth to the story.
  2. Journey Through the Fantastic: The fantastical journey of Nyata and Nyaako takes them through a series of bizarre and whimsical settings, including encounters with a psychopomp, a giant bird causing weather chaos, and a water elephant. These elements contribute to the story’s uniqueness and creativity.
  3. Symbolism and Metaphor: The splitting of Nyaako’s soul and the quest to reunite it with a flower introduces symbolism and metaphor, adding layers of meaning to the narrative.
  4. Camaraderie with Animals: The consensual and surreal act of sharing a meal with a pig and later finding companionship with a water elephant showcases a unique connection between the characters and the animal world.
  5. Challenges and Resilience: The characters face challenges, such as the attack by the man with scissors and the surreal desert landscape. Their resilience and ability to overcome adversity contribute to the story’s sense of adventure.
  6. Restoration through the Flower: The resolution, where the sought-after flower restores Nyaako to normal, is a heartwarming moment that brings the siblings back together.
  7. Time and Reality Manipulation: The playful interaction with time-frozen scenes and disruptions in reality, orchestrated by God and Father Time, adds a layer of whimsy and creativity to the narrative.
  8. Visual and Conceptual Imagery: The vivid and imaginative imagery, including tin sculptures of plants and mechanical animals, creates a visually stunning and memorable experience for the audience.
  9. Family Dynamics: The moments involving the entire feline family watching TV together and the subsequent mysterious disappearance of family members add an intriguing element to the story, keeping the audience engaged.
  10. Open-Ended Conclusion: The open-ended conclusion with the disappearance of characters and the flickering screen of static leaves room for interpretation, allowing the audience to reflect on the narrative in their own way.

TOTT’s Take On Cat Soup 2001

The narrative of Cat Soup 2001 weaves together elements of symbolism, camaraderie with animals, challenges, and moments of resilience, creating a unique and captivating tale.

In the end, the narrative leaves an indelible mark with its imaginative storytelling, symbolic elements, and the powerful theme of familial connection, challenging the boundaries of reality and inviting viewers to explore the depths of their own interpretations.

I am delighted to rate the movie-

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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