If you are looking for a glitzy, razzle-dazzle styled musical, then step right up folks to The Greatest Showman! The original movie musical tells the story of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), as he embarks on a wild journey to create the spectacle we all know today as the circus.
The Greatest Showman reflects the world of the circus: it is loud, flamboyant, glossy, unapologetic and at times, even magical. Despite the film’s jazzy songs and flashy choreography, The Greatest Showman is at its heart very corny, lacking genuine emotion and relying on utilizing EVERY circus cliche in the book rather than developing characters.
Additionally, if you’re looking to learn the history behind P.T. Barnum, you’re not going to find it here. I walked out of the theatre having more questions about the man behind the curtain than ever before and feel like the film only scratched the surface on this complex individual.
As a huge fan of award-winning songwriting duo, Pasek & Paul, I found the original music entertaining and energetic but not nearly as impressive as La La Land or Dear Evan Hansen but still stands strong on its own. The songs are joyously delivered by the cast, especially Hugh Jackman. After years and years of seeing him as the iconic Wolverine, it is nice to see him return to the world of musical theatre.
Final Thoughts: The Greatest Showman is certainly not the greatest show on earth, but is entertaining – as I like to call an ideal “snow day” film that will leave your feeling warm and fuzzy.