The Greatest Showman: Film Review

I love a musical and I was genuinely more excited for the release of The Greatest Showman more than I was for Star Wars (shocking but true) and I wasn’t disappointed – on the musical front, it delivers the goods and then some.

Hugh Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, a tailor’s son who has been bouncing around odd jobs to put a roof over the heads of his wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and their daughters. One day he manages to secure a loan to create a museum of curiosities, but the waxworks didn’t bring in the punters – so he reinvents it with live ‘freaks’ and odd people and it eventually becomes a circus. However, he is fed up of being looked down upon by the upper classes so he recruits privileged playwright Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and becomes a promoter for Swedish singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson), but he soon bites off more than he can chew.

As a musical, The Greatest Showman would easily get 5/5 stars because it is an absolute triumph. I loved what Pasek and Paul did with La La Land so it’s no surprise I loved the songs they wrote here. I came home and immediately played the soundtrack and I will definitely be learning all the words. I don’t have a favourite yet – they are all so brilliant, catchy as hell and make you want to be in a musical yourself.

The musical numbers are where the movie excels and they look amazing and are so well choreographed. Obviously, the ones in the main circus with all the cast are the most glorious and spectacular, but my favourites were an aerial routine between love interests Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and Carlyle to Rewrite the Stars, which was simply beautiful, and Jackman and Efron’s duet The Other Side, which was very technically impressive. Jackman and Efron have previously proven they could sing, so Zendaya and Keala Settle (the bearded lady) were the biggest surprises (Ferguson doesn’t sing her part).

Sadly, as a story, it falls a bit short. I just left wanting more – something deeper. It whizzes through a brief period of Barnum’s history on a surface level and apparently glosses over some shady facts about him (I’m not well versed on this), so if you want a biopic about him, this probably isn’t the one for you.

I loved all the musical numbers so, so much, the joy and uplifting spirit of it and the actors were all perfectly cast and on top form. It is cheesy and sentimental, but that’s exactly what I expected. It’s all about the spectacle and so damn fun and entertaining. More original musicals please.

In cinemas now 

Comments

  1. We LOVED this movie and we’ve seen it now more times than I’ll admit, haha

  2. I LOVED this movie! I’ve seen it 3 times and I’ll be going again! Fantastic music! Choreography! Cinematography! Lighting! GLORIOUS! Bought the soundtrack for my phone and a DVD as well! Can’t stop listening! Go see it on the big screen!

  3. Great review! I completely agree with you about the musical aspect of it and the wonderful songs. I also agree about the speed of the plot. As a musical lover though, a couldn’t help but be swept away by the spectacle and the gorgeous performances! x

  4. I usually take your words as gospel but I think I’ll have to give this one a miss. I know I said I’d go gay for Idris Elba but aside from this I am a man and would feel less of a man if I actually enjoyed it. I would have to watch the ‘Taken’ trilogy back-to-back for at least 24 hours.

    • Hannah Wales says:

      Well I’m glad you normally take my reviews as gospel! That’s great to hear/read. That’s fair enough – Showman is strictly for musical lovers so if you don’t like that genre, there’s not much point in you seeing it.

  5. A must see I believe! Hugh Jackman makes this movie, along with with the score and important messages. I reviewed it today and I think it’s a spectacular movie! Great review.👍🏻

  6. I’m booked to see it as a birthday treat. Better late than never!

Trackbacks

  1. […] December, but I like to wait a little longer just in case there is a late entry – I thought The Greatest Showman might have made it (it didn’t) – so here are my top 10 films of […]

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