By guest reviewer moviemagic16.
Yeah, I’m a Marvel fanatic and Star Wars trash, but at my core, I’m a musical (theater) nerd.
The Greatest Showman is the first big movie musical since La La Land (even though this was in production wayyyy before but still came out later). This is the story about PT Barnum who basically invented the circus.
Okay, let’s start off with the positives: the film is very very pretty. For me, it has a Moulin Rouge effect. It’s so big and grand and colorful. Everything about it on a production level is so so so beautiful. From costumes to sets to special effects (even though those get a little not-real-ish but you get my point) it’s totally beautiful.
Second: there are pretty strong performances here. We all know (and if you don’t you’re living under a rock) that Hugh Jackman is a musical-loving freak and you can just tell he’s loving this. He’s in the zone, doing what he loves to do, and you can 100% see it on his face. Michelle Williams (this girl needs a BREAK GODDAMIT) is once again amazing. I feel like people don’t give her the love she deserves but she’s great in this. There’s this one scene (it’s literally only a second) where she gives Hugh a look and that speaks volume. She’s a great character actress so just appreciate her goddamit.
Zac Efron was good here, he’s definitely improving as an actor. But the person that surprised me was definitely Zendaya. Her role is on the small side but what she brought to the table was great and she made those few scenes really enjoyable. She’s got a career in this industry if she wants it.
The songs are also great. These are the writers of La La Land (which I hated) and Dear Evan Hansen (which I loved) so I was a little concerned going in but these are pretty solid songs. My highlights are A Million Dreams, This is Me, Rewrite the Stars, Never Enough, and From Now On. This Is Me is projected to win best song and I still want Mystery of Love from Call Me By Your Name to win but I would love to see this performed.
Buuuuut this is a very poorly directed piece. It is just all over the place and doesn’t flow well at all. There are scenes that aren’t completed, choppy editing, and stories that are squeezed in. The main story is PR Barnum creating the circus and learning the value of family and learning that you are enough and perfect the way you are. But the screenwriters and director are throwing in the Zendaya/Efron romance, temptation with Rebecca Ferguson, and people not accepting the circus cast. In my opinion they should have cut the Zendaya/Efron love story and focus on the circus cast becoming a family and embracing their differences. Cause we don’t see that at all and at the end of the movie they’re all talking about “coming together and finding a family.” I wanted to actually see that.
Also, Rebecca Ferguson has a minor role (honestly it’s not that big) and her singing voice is dubbed. Loren Allred sings Ferguson’s song and I feel like since this role isn’t big and Ferguson isn’t that big, Allred should have just played that role. It’s not like Evan Rachel Wood in Mildred Pierce where the role was huge and she only sang sometimes. The main chunk of this part is the song so I’m annoyed they dubbed her voice.
Guys, in the end The Greatest Showman is a mixed bag. I feel like it’s more positive than negative but still mixed. Once you get past the messy plot and messy directing (it’s his first movie but still) it can be enjoyable and remind you that it’s great to be different and to just take care of each other. I just which the movie said it in a more organized, cleaner way.
Lauren is a fan of visual storytelling and wants to talk about it, find more of her reviews on instagram at moviemagic16.