So I watched The Greatest Showman…
I wasn’t particularly excited about watching this movie but, in all honesty, I haven’t been excited about watching many movies as of late. 2017 threw me into a tailspin and it feels like I’m only now getting back into the swing of things and catching up on all the movies I missed. Literally minutes into watching this movie I remembered why I love the cinema so much and why I should have ran (not walked) to see this film.
Okay, basic plot: P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) is a man of simple means who dreams of giving his wife, Charity (Michelle Williams) and their two children the life he never had. Barnum comes up with the idea of creating a show that showcases the weird and wonderful. He finds amazing individuals, from a bearded woman to the world’s greatest trapeze artists and puts them under one roof. His show becomes a resounding success but the more wealth and respect he earns, the more he craves and soon he finds himself sacrificing those close to him to chase his dreams.
I’ve seen Hugh Jackman in a lot of different roles but with the exception of his turn as Wolverine in Logan, I think this might be my favourite performance of his. The theatricality and showmanship of P.T. Barnum as depicted in this movie suited Jackman perfectly. He truly is a fantastic performer and this role allows him to flex nearly all his thespian muscles. He sings, he dances, he enthralls, he does it all! This movie truly rests on his character and even in the moments where Barnum is showcased as being less than honourable, you still feel for him.
Now I praise Jackman for being the unifying force that keeps the movie going but he’s surrounded by a constellation of stars. Many of this film’s best performances came from actors who I’ve never heard of. Keala Settle was probably my favourite member of this film’s supporting cast. She plays a bearded woman with a truly astounding voice. She brought so much heart to the film and though her screentime is somewhat limited, her presence is unforgettable. I literally could single out every member of this film’s cast and applaud them because honestly they do deserve it but then this review would never end. What i do have to say is ‘bravo’ to the cast for bringing this film’s musical numbers to life. It is flawless and this film’s soundtrack is definitely going to be among my most played songs.
Now while I did enjoy this film’s musical numbers, I did feel like at times they came at the expense of story. There are one of two times when people break into song and you feel like it wasn’t really necessary. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are amazing but sometimes the build up to the song feels rushed and you wish the scene had had another line of dialogue or you had a few more seconds to digest the scene before the singing began. It reminded me a great deal of Thor: Ragnarok. In Ragnarok, I felt the script was always rushing to the next joke without developing enough story to serve as foundation for the joke; The Greatest Showman does that with its songs.
Overall, The Greatest Showman is a musical delight. I think often its songs overpower its story instead of enhancing it but the songs are so wonderful that you don’t much mind. Hugh Jackman is literally the ringmaster of a fantastic show that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Definitely worth watching 7/10