Review: The Greatest Showman
The Greatest Showman
Dir: Michael Gracey
Writ: Jenny Hicks & Bill Condon
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya,
Musicals. They are very much out of my element. It is very rarely that a musical be it on stage or screen reach me. Outside of the 2016 re-release of Purple Rain in tribute to Prince, I believe the last musical I saw was the 2005 motion picture adaptation of the Broadway Musical adaptation of the 1967 Mel Brooks comedy, The Producers.
Having said all that, I was extremely delighted by The Greatest Showman. I went in not really knowing how much of a musical it was exactly. I had seen a trailer, that I clearly wasn’t paying too much attention too. I knew Id get at least one musical number, maybe two.For all I knew it was an Adele Top 40 song playing over the majority of the trailer.
I had only originally heard this was just a biopic of PT Barnum starring Hugh Jackman, and I thought “That’s going to be good movie.” - I feel like this was a great movie.
PT Barnum is no “Walt Disney”, and if you research a little further, Walt Disney, isnt “Walt Disney” but this isn’t that movie. This isn’t the gritty drama written by Aaron Sorkin exposing all of PT Barnums dirty known or unknown follies. If you’re looking for the movie about the guy who allegedly kicks baby elephants and tosses Little People, this isn’t that movie, don’t see it.
If you’re prone to cavities and don’t floss regularly, dont see this movie.
This movie is sugar coated. It’s about chasing a dream. It’s about chasing acceptance. It’s about overcoming obstacles and being above what you are told your station in life is. I’m a sucker for that stuff.
When a negative of Barnums comes up, its glossed over, it isn’t gone deep into, maybe it’s resolved or distracted with a song.
First time director Michael Gracey has some great transition scenes when dealing with the musical numbers. I appreciated the way Gracey was able to estable mood and tone and when to sparingly use slow motion as well as how he got his steadicam coordinated with the choreography of the performers.
I’ve only seen the funny side of Zac Efron, I was too old to be watching anything called High School Musical, so this was a pleasant surprise to not only see him in the movie, but to see him able to sing and dance.
Zendaya, same situation, I’m too old to be aware of anything on the Disney Channel, and when her name started appearing on my timelines for her role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, nothing about her was moving the needle. In this movie, I get it. I get her and the potential of her talent and I wish she was in the movie more. She has “it” and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.
Hugh Jackman carries the movie of course, and as noted at the beginning, you can guess, I haven’t seen Les Miserables or Pan. I was genuinely enthralled in seeing Wolverine in his natural habitat .
I honestly would not have gone to see this movie without my Moviepass and so far I’m going 11 for 11 with my success rate.
There’s several times in this movie when a song begins, I thought we were in store for a cover of some pop song. Many times I asked myself “Is this Mackelmore?” “Is this Nikki Minaj?” Apparently no it isn’t. Having said that, I enjoyed most of the soundtrack in this. Great attention getting opener, great transition of time song, great romantic duet, great moment of redemption song in the end.
I absolutely see this getting nominated for a few Academy Awards in 2018. This was a fantastic delight. I absolutely recommend this be seen on the big screen. I feel confident I will see this one or two more times.
5 out of 6 Blueberries