The Greatest Showman
Length: 105 minutes / 1.75 hours
I can honestly say there aren’t nearly enough musicals in Hollywood anymore. The Greatest Showman (2017) certainly helps to fill in the gaps between these occurrences, and with a subject that easily lends itself to the musical format. I really enjoyed the songs and choreography, as well as its message of inclusion and being unashamed of who we are. All that being said, there was still something a little off when infusing pop music and modern dance moves with the 1800’s. It kind of works, but it also doesn’t immerse the audience in the historical aesthetic.
While the story of P.T. Barnum’s (Hugh Jackman) rise to wealth and fame (or infamy, depending on the viewpoint) was entertaining enough, so much of its presentation seemed to have the “Hollywood coincidence” to it. Events lined up in such a way that I wondered if they really happened or if it was artistic license. This is also not to mention the number of clichés present in the film as well, most of which I can’t get into without spoiling the plot. At the very least, Barnum’s story seemed realistic due to his motivations, and not necessarily due to his humanitarianism.
It might seem like I’m bashing this movie for being too “Hollywood,” but by that same mark, it is an entertaining film. There are enough humor and heartfelt moments to keep the proceedings lighthearted. If anything, the fact that it’s entertaining is merely linked to Barnum’s rise as an entertainer and showman. The songs are catchy enough to get stuck in your head, and the dancing (especially the bit in the bar) was dazzling to watch and would be fun to imitate. The Greatest Showman isn’t your traditional biopic, but it is good for a brief escape from reality.
An entertaining musical that hits all the Hollywood clichés, I give The Greatest Showman 4.0 stars out of 5.