‘The Greatest Showman’ Review

the-greatest-showman-posters-2017-tgs-barnum-01-hrThe Greatest Showman is an American period-piece/musical film directed by Michael Gracey and written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. The film is inspired by the true story of P. T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the lives of its star attractions. The acting in this film is fine with Hugh Jackman standing out as P. T. Barnum. He’s one of those characters that you want to root for and hopes succeeds in all of his endeavors. Jackman portrays the character very well and exhibits all the showmanship and pizazz you would expect. Jackman’s singing voice is captivating, something he most likely mastered during his time in his stage musical career in Melbourne.Michelle Williams and Zac Efron are also fine as supporting characters Charity Barnum and Phillip Carlyle respectively. They each show the different sides of P. T. Barnum character, the loving family man, and the success-craving businessman. The best part about the film is the music. All of the songs are original and well sung. Nothing is too boastful or too loud and all work well with the story that the director is trying to tell. Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya add to this as both actresses sport stunning vocals that command the screen. Many of the tunes will be stuck in the audience’s heads for a while after watching this film. The Greatest Showman does have its fair share of issues. The plot is paper thin, with many of the supporting and background characters not having any depth. Without knowing more about these characters, it becomes difficult for the audience to relate to them when they go through issues that should impact the viewer emotionally. The film is so fantastical that it begins to take away from the realism of the story. This sticks out more during the scenes when the circus is in motion, something the film hardly shows. Some of the CGI is poorly done, especially said CGI involving the animals and a certain character. The character should have probably been a different actor all together so that the CGI wouldn’t be necessary. The film also tries to tackle the subject matter of classism and racism in America during the 1800’s. The former is done well, but the latter is almost an afterthought and treated more like classism itself. I give The Greatest Showman a Normal 6.9/10. With a denser plot this could have been a musical for the ages, but instead, it’ll have to settle for a fun holiday film that the family can enjoy.

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