The Greatest Showman is an original musical film that looks at P. T. Barnum and how he helped create show business and everything around it. How he rose from nothing to create a spectacle and a legacy that would be continued.
Hugh Jackman was born to play the role of P. T. Barnum and I think it really shows in the quality of his performance, he is a true musical star. Something which people probably forget when they are so used to just having him as Wolverine for so long! Theatre is his background and he is still very passionate about that. We don’t get original musicals made straight to film very often and the songs included with this one were very engaging and well placed to help compliment the story.
I was a little bit nervous heading to see this one, I often feel that way towards movie musicals now due to my love for them. Especially considering I had heard so many fantastic things about this film, I tried to stay away from this in all honesty but sometimes you just cannot help it. I hate the idea of being disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed as it was all just lovely, with the new impressive songs and some very well choreographed routines and well Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron (who I had actually forgotten was in the film until he appeared, don’t ask me how I did that). Which is to say that I really, really, really liked this film. On one viewing I cannot say it blew me away or it was outstanding I have a feeling that will change when I see it again.
Jackman is outstanding in the leading role and shows he is every bit the leading man across so many different genres now. A much lighter role than his last musical outing as Jean Valjean, so it was very nice to see him smiling in this one and having a lot of fun.
Anyway a little bit more about the story which sees Barnum pretty much create the circus giving people who look different a chance to make some money out of just that, which does make you wonder if that is a good thing considering they were mainly just laughed at? Some of those early scenes were pretty tough going really, but in the end the sense of family they created was inspiring considering most of them were not even accepted by their own families.
Michelle Williams surprised me Charity Barnum and in a very nice and good way. Helen and Caroline Barnum his daughters were very key in everything he wanted to achieve, even if he did lose his way a little bit they helped him get back on track. I thought along with that and how upper and middle class were still very evident towards the working and struggling classes. From a musical theatre point of view it was brilliant to see Shuler Hensley on the big screen as lead protestor after totally loving him as the Monster in Young Frankenstein the Musical this year!
Overall, The Greatest Showman is a fantastic new musical carrying so many lovely messages and moments. Sometimes you just have to get through the bad times to create something good and wonderful. I think that is how it appears Barnum’s life went as he came from nothing and was not going to let his own family have nothing!