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Photo: ‘Cat Daddies’
Throughout the years, society and the media has portrayed men as dog lovers. However, director Mye Hoang challenges the stereotype by deciding to make his latest documentary, ‘Cat Daddies.’ The film is very sweet and gives perspective for male viewers who are even thinking about owning a cat. Mye believes that there are men in this world that will devote their time to pet cats. By the end of the film, regardless of gender, the viewer will most likely think about buying a cat in the future. Cats may have been the center of attention when it comes to silly, yet funny videos of cat owners using their pets for likes and views for their YouTube videos. However, ‘Cat Daddies’ refrains from doing such a tactic. Aside from the fact that the film opens with a scene that displays a cat-lover who creates humorous cat videos and is also aware of the famous Instagram user GoalKitty, the film shows real male human beings leading interesting lives with their cats. The story takes place in several places in the United States which includes California, New York, Arizona, and South Carolina.
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The Cat Lovers
The story puts focus on the lives of nine different men who are forever changed because of their decision of becoming cat lovers. We see a firefighter who treats his cat as if it was part of the firemen crew, a truck driver, a police officer, a Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Robertson), an actor/social media influencer (Nathan Kehn), an advertising professional (Will Zweigart) in Brooklyn who operates a non-profit to rescue feral cats in his neighborhood, a software engineer, a school teacher, and a disabled immigrant who lives on the streets of New York City.
Hoang starts her documentary in a positive tone. She focuses on an actor in Los Angeles who is a huge cat enthusiast. He started by owning one cat. Eventually, he owns about four of them. He loves his cats so much, he decided to let the world know through his social media account.
I find it amusing that a truck driver such as David Durst owns a cat named “Tora, the Trucker Cat,” whom he uses for his hobby of photography. Now the whole world knows that his cat is the co-pilot.
One of the film’s interviewee’s is a Georgian immigrant New Yorker named David Giovanni. The viewers will find it very moving that David lives with cerebral palsy and is battling cancer while also living on the streets of New York City. What helps him cope through the homelessness is his cat, Lucky. Because of his cat, he was able to find other cat lovers who took notice of him. Other people were able to help him to get some help finding the proper healthcare since he is a disabled homeless man.
‘Cat Daddies’ – The Film’s Merits
The film’s camerawork is exquisite. The cinematographer was able to provide beautiful B-shots of the cat-owners spending time with their pets. The footage does not feel bland at all. It feels naturalistic, sincere, and honest. Each of the interviewers give sincere background stories and tales about their cats. The film also does a good job finding commonalities with all the male interviews and how they are all coping with their stressful jobs and how they are facing the COVID19 pandemic. The director does a good job of making the film, audiences will easily fall in love with their stories and the big screen serves as a window to lives that the audiences have never seen before.
I do not think there have been documentaries that put a strong emphasis on male cat owners. People of all ages will love ‘Cat Daddies’ for demonstrating showmanship to the cat-owning interviewees. The story never displayed any negative portrayal of men owning the cats. Each of the interviewers talk about the positives of having cats in their lives. The film is not rated but parents will still find the movie suitable for their children. Even though they will be inspired and impressed with the men who have respectable professions as they support their pets, they will be moved by David’s story. It will be an emotional watch for children, but it will help them to realize that even homeless people have found the strength to live their lives by having a pet in their presence.
Most of the documentary’s male subjects have jobs that are considered “manly” for society. As the audiences will watch the documentary, they will be fascinated on how all of them live their difficult lives and still make time for their feline companions. The documentary will remind even the most masculine male dog lovers why they devote their lives to their canine companions. Even though some interviewee’s are in very challenging situations, such as David’s, the viewer can see that cats are the perfect specimens that will help people through tough times. Cats have been perfect pets that have always helped human beings have the strength to live. Cats are therapeutic creatures that have made a great contribution towards the lives of the nine men. The target demographic might have been intended for cat owners, but the average filmgoer will find it intriguing since the film focuses on a community that has been ignored for too long. In the 21st century, documentary filmmakers will do whatever it takes to film untold stories. After this film, the audience will no longer see cat videos on YouTube or Tiktok the same way ever again. The film does a fantastic job of exploring the nine lives who will never be forgotten by its audiences – whether they are cat-lovers or not.
Director: Mye Hoang
Producer: Dave Boyle
Running Time: 89 minutes
Cast: Nathan Kehn, David Giovanni, Jeff Judkins, Ridoanul Haque Siyam, Jordan Lide, David Durst
By Marco Castaneda
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