I don’t really like musicals (except for Moulin Rouge and La La Land), but The Greatest Showman is a ton of fun.
Inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum, the genius behind what was once billed “The Greatest Show On Earth”, The Greatest Showman tells a colorful tale that’s packed with momentum and joy.
As P. T. Barnum, Hugh Jackman is completely magnetic. His performance is a sharp contrast to his iconic turn as Wolverine in the X-Men series, but it’s just as charismatic. He anchors the entire movie with his performance, and you root for him to succeed right from the start.
Of course the film would falter if it didn’t have catchy tunes, and every single song is surprisingly singalong worthy. More importantly, they service the plot and advance the story forward instead of needlessly distracting us. In fact, the film’s show-stopping number “This Is Me” (beautifully performed by Keala Settle, the film’s MVP), is a heartfelt and touching creation about accepting who you are and standing up against those who bring you down. It’s admittedly cheesy, but so very addictive and moving. There’s a lot of heart in this film, and that’s what carries it through its more predictable moments.
Yes, there’s nothing you haven’t seen before here story-wise (protagonist finds success and tries to resist the trappings of fame etc…). It’s all pretty routine, but the tremendous cast and incredible production values mask the film’s weaknesses. Look no further than Zac Efron and Zendaya’s performance of Rewrite The Stars – you’d expect it to be corny and tiresome, but it’s a superbly choreographed piece that’s overflowing with emotion.
A lavish and magnificently-produced musical with top-notch performances. The Greatest Showman is one charming film!