I am a sucker for musicals. I just am. I’m not sure what draws me towards theater and musicals, even I can see how there are ridiculous, but something just draws me towards them. So when I heard there was an original movie musical, the first in 20 something years, coming out by the same people who wrote the music for Lala Land—a person favorite of mine—I was really excited. I didn’t know too much about the Greatest Showman coming into it, just hearing mixed reviews from the people walking out of the theater I work in. I really wanted to love this movie, and it for sure is not terrible, it just has a few too many issues to call it great. The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zach Efron, Zendaya, and is directed by Micheal Gracey.
There are plenty issues that are easy to ignore. Many do not like the aspect of movie musicals, where there break into song randomly with highly choreographed dances on the spot, but I do. Many do not like the story of P.T. Barnum, the man who is said to created modern show business and the circus. There are issues of animal cruelty in the circus and possibly the more hyperbolic “facts” in the movie making Barnum seem like a much better person then he probably was. But the movie never said it was completely true—it is a work of fiction, and that never ruined it for me either.
So what are the real problems then? This movie does many things right, telling a good story of acceptance and being thankful for what you have been given. Well to start, the songs aren’t the greatest. They are not bad by any means, but they do not have any character. I would much rather have song that sound like they are from the 1920’s than the processed pop sound that is featured in this movie. Also, this movie has passed around by a few writers, and you can tell. There are plot points not followed, motivations not quite acted out on, and all around confusion.
Greatest Showman is an okay movie musical, but if you are not a die-hard fan of musicals, maybe skip this one. I give it a 6/10.