My The Greatest Showman Review
I have to say, I am not typically a fan of musicals. I heard really good things about this movie from other Hugh Jackman fans, though, so I was totally willing to put my prejudice aside and watch the film to appreciate some more of the incredible talents of Hugh. From the opening moments, though, I had a big smile on my face.
I thought it was an interesting choice to have contemporary music that went along with a period piece. In a way, it reaffirmed that he was ahead of his time. And my biggest issue with musicals often is that life is not really people bursting into song all the time. But the way The Greatest Showman works, the music almost feels natural– everything is music: the stomping feet of the crowd, the trains passing by, a bottle sliding down a bar, the clank of coins. It made the songs that took place outside of the circus a little more realistic.
A few of my favorite moments: the song Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron sing together in the bar before they become partners, the “This Is Me” song (which won the film a Golden Globe for Best Original Song), the conversation between the critic and Hugh in the rubble of the museum, and “This is the Greatest Show”. But mostly I loved the upbeat spirit and positive message, which is something that we all need more in this world. As I said in the first paragraph, I was smiling almost the whole time.
This is the perfect movie for Hugh Jackman. It showcases his humanity and his charisma while giving him an opportunity to show off his amazing singing voice and dancing skills. He does not seem to be playing a part. You believe he really is P.T. Barnum. It is a phenomenal role and he was clearly up for the challenge.
This was a pet project of Hugh’s that took years to get off the ground. He did an amazing amount of research to prepare for the role, handpicked the director, and pushed to get it made. It was, essentially, a labor of love. You can really feel that as you watch it. It wasn’t entirely accurate as far as the life of P.T. Barnum went, but for me the theatrics of the film outweigh the downside of being completely factual. It captures the things people loved about going to the circus, about finding your tribe, about creating something magical simply for the beauty and the joy of it.
I have to give a lot of credit also to the costume designers, the songwriters, the musicians, and the choreographers. I really enjoyed it, and it was not just because I really liked watching Hugh in it – although he was incredible! While it was hit or miss with critics, it did very well at the box office – the third highest grossing musical ever. If you haven’t seen it yet, whether you a fan of Hugh Jackman or musicals or not, give it a try. You might find you really like it!