Review – The Greatest Showman

January 2nd, 2018 | by Sqotty |

I took the family to see The Greatest Showman over New Year’s weekend. To start off with, we all enjoyed the film very much. This is the story, fairly well fictionalized (Barnum was not orphaned, whereas is partner, Baily, was orphaned), done for artistic reasons, of P. T. Barnum and how he built his circus. The film was made as a musical, and that worked well with the overall story.

This is going to come as a shock for people who know me, but I haven’t seen any of the actors in a movie before, even Hugh Jackman (Wolverine). Yes, that’s right, I haven’t seen an X-Men movie, well, maybe the first one back in 2000, but I don’t recall it. So, all of these actors are in a sense new to me, although Jackman is a known quantity by name, and a few movie trailers.

We’ll start off with the good things about the movie. Hugh Jackman turned in an outstanding performance as P.T. Barnum. As the focal point of the story, he had a lot of weight to carry, not just acting, but singing and dancing as well. When Barnum purchased the American Museum (was museum), and renamed it for himself, it was his daughters who pointed out that the missing ingredient for success was living, breathing performers. This set him on a quest to find the talent he needed, people who would stand out, and started with the man who would become known as General Tom Thumb, played by Sam Humphrey. One thing leads to another and he has a cast put together and a show that people come to see. Of course the show takes a beating in the press, and uses the bad review to further promote his show.

Later, in a great barroom scene with Phillip Carlyle, played by Zac Efron, Barnum enlists the aid of Carlyle to further promote his show. Carlyle is listed as a composite of several characters, including James Baily, but I would argue that some of Baily’s life was incorporated into the character of P.T. Barnum. Carlyle falls for Anne, played by Zendaya, and we are treated to a great acrobatic duet between the two.

Barnum meets Jenny Lind, played by Rebecca Ferguson (singing dubbed in by Loren Allred), a renown Swedish opera singer, and takes her on tour of the United States. This leads to other problems for Barnum as there is an implied romantic interest.

There is a long list of excellent performers in the film, that makes The Greatest Showman a real treat.

Now the bad things. Darn it, I can’t think of any. Or maybe that’s a good thing.

The Greatest Showman is a great film that deserves to be seen on the Big Screen. The music and choreography are excellent and the cast and crew delivered a film that can be enjoyed again and again.

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