Title: Kattorna

Also known as:
The Cats (English title)

Year: 1965

Genre: Drama

Language: Swedish

Runtime: 91 min

Director: Henning Carlsen

Writer: Walentin Chorell

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059351/

A group of women work at a laundry place in the mid 60's. Their boss is Marta, a woman that is despised by the rest of the women. Marta helps Rike after she's been into some bad stuff and another woman ends up seeing Marta help Rike in the shower, which starts the rumor that she's a lesbian. Together they try to get rid of Marta.

Our thoughts:
Somewhere between a women-in-prison flick, "Clerks" and a soap opera we have this Swedish drama about the then controversial subject of homosexuality. I say WIP, but it's really a laundry place where they work, but this film is probably the closest Sweden has ever gotten to the feeling of a WIP flick, and in many ways it's not too far from it. Except the focus isn't on the boobies, but on the drama. "Clerks" because it takes place at work. Just so that I don't get that mixed up - there's no Kevin Smith comedy in this one, even though there are humorous moments.

The story is strictly set in a laundry place where these women work together with their boss Marta. The other girl dislike her, and it gets even worse when they notice some lesbian tendencies from her towards one of the co-workers. They start to rebel against her and try to get her to quit her job.

"Kattorna" is a bit jumpy between everyday discussions, joking around, dramatic moments, a sort of rape scene and of course, the shower scene. But there's not really much going on in the movie, it's very character and dialog driven. I think the reason for this movie being this good is based on just that - it's not trying to tell an extraordinary story, an overly smutty story or a violent story. It's about a day at work when a group of co-workers say that enough's enough and try to get rid of their boss (warden?). Being a very realistic portrayal of such events there's never a one-sided story, because Marta ends up being the most sympathetic character in the bunch next to one of the older ladies who constantly have to jump in and tell them to stop. I found that interesting and gave the movie more value than if she had been a complete cunt through and through.

It's by no means a unique movie, and it gets boring at times because it's so everyday. What matters is that the acting is solid, especially from Eva Dahlbeck as Marta. The movie is shot by Mac Ahlberg, the director of such famous smut such as "Flossie" and "Fanny Hill", but he was also cinematographer on "Re-Animator", "Ghoulies", "Chained Heat" and... "Evil Bong", to name very few. It helps a lot that the movie is as professionally shot as it is, even though this was early in his career. It helps putting the focus where it matters. The music is a bit off but pretty typical 60's. It kinda distracted me.

I think "Kattorna" is worth watching at least once if you're a Swede, and if you're not then just watch it if there's any specific details that catches your attention. It's not the whole world if you miss this one. A pretty decent award-winning drama movie about the taboo of homosexuality in the 60's, with a nice everyday feeling to help it feel less sensational and more realistic.

Positive things:
- Eva Dahlbeck as Marta.
- The closest we have to a WIP film in Sweden.
- I can see this as being influential, but I also can't say that's a fact because who knows who has even seen it.
Negative things:
- The music was distracting.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 1.5/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 0/5
Comedy: 2/5

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