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'The Greatest Showman' - Movie Review

A Fun Musical With Many Issues

Promotional Artwork for The Greatest Showman [Credit: Fox]

I’ve never been over-the-moon about musicals per-say, but any musical that has catchy songs will always have a special place in my heart. If a movie can make me smile through its music, regardless of the quality of the story at hand, then it’s definitely doing something right. The Greatest Showman is one of the most recent musicals to hit the big screen and while I don’t consider this one a masterpiece by any means, I can definitely see why so many people have hyped up the soundtrack. This is the pinnacle example of a film that works very well, solely due to the fact that it has fantastic musical numbers throughout its entire duration. If you haven’t seen this film yet and you’re not a fan of the musical style, then I would warn you to stay away, but if you’re the opposite of that, then you may have found a new favorite to sing along to.

The Greatest Showman follows P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) as his family suffers from him not being able to hold a job. Promising his wife a magnificent life at a young age, he hasn’t given up on that yet. He decides to buy a museum that he would eventually turn into a musical circus, filled with people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and attitudes. This sparks a huge interest in the town and his rise to fame is quite rapid. Yes, I know the story is altered to suit a film because the actual P.T. Barnum wasn’t such a nice person, but it works as a movie and that’s all that matters when watching. Having said all that, this particular story has been told to death already, so if you’re going in for something fresh, I wouldn’t bother, unless you’re able to ignore that aspect as I surely did.

This is a film that you go to for the spectacle of the shows and visual storytelling (albeit brief) because the music is so well-written and catchy you honestly forget about the core story completely. Yes, that’s a man to cover up something mediocre, but I would be lying if I didn’t call this film remarkable in terms of choreography and music. I’ve only seen this film once, so I wasn’t singing along with any of the music, but when the cues occur, I must admit that I had a few goosebumps appearing.

As far as the performances go, everyone here was hired for their stardom. They can both sing and act very well. From Hugh Jackman to Michelle Williams, to the very likable chemistry between Zac Efron and Zendaya, I was grinning from ear to ear whenever any of them were singing on-screen together. Even though the story is basic, it put a huge smile on my face through the ways it let the music tell the story. Even though mediocre at its core, I had an absolute blast watching The Greatest Showman.

In the end, this movie won’t be remembered as one of the greatest musicals of all time, or even the last ten years, but this is a soundtrack that music lovers will be playing for many years to come, and that alone is a tough feat to accomplish. No, I didn’t care all that much about the outcome of the story, but the music itself made me care enough to put a smile on my face, and there is a lot of music, so I was distracted into liking this movie enough to warrant a decent recommendation. Please take this recommendation with a massive grain of salt, though, because if you’re not into musicals, this movie will probably have the exact opposite effect for you.

Rating: 3.5/5 

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'The Greatest Showman' - Movie Review
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