This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
waggo’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
From the parallel’s to mythology, to the subversive pacing and structure, there is a lot to love about the movie, but the cat is most impressively well used for me. As Llewyn goes through the metro underground of New York we see a reflection of his back, except instead of his head we see a reflection of the cat. The cat in a way is Llewyn, or at least his guide. The cat leads Llewyn through a journey to get himself out of his depression but he still fails to do so. Llewyn chooses to throw out his childhood box, he chooses to not take royalties from the song, and he is the one who chose to play Queen Jane to Bud Grossman. Llewyn, obviously and very cheesly, is in love with his own depression, and feels like because of it and because of his “sticking up to the unbiased artist ideals who won’t sellout” attitude he deserves to succeed, even when he is retroactively acting against his own success. Ulysses is a story of a heroic individual in a quest that teaches him compassion and remorse of conscience, except Llewyn doesn’t learn any of that so it’s ironic when the cat returns home, but Llewyn doesn’t arrive at the end of his journey.