After months of self-conflict, hearing opinions from friends, movie critics saying it’s meh, and hearing some people say “how can you be a movie critic if you don’t try something new,” I have finally decided to watch “The Greatest Showman”. Now a little fact about myself; I am a musically inclined guy. I sing, do show choir, have done some theater, and I even take private voice and piano lessons. So as an 18 year old heavily involved in music, I somewhat felt obligated to watch this movie. I didn’t force myself into watching this, I chose to under my own will.
Now, I’ve heard many things about ‘The Greatest Showman.” Opinions such as “the music is great but the story isn’t,” “the music doesn’t fit the movie,” “the movie’s good but it’s not perfect” etc. I’m just gonna say it, but the story and the music are uniquely separated. I say separated because they don’t fit together. The music is too modern to fit the setting of the story, and the story itself is a bit dark for the music. Combining the story and music aside, both elements are fantastic.
The music is very humane and grand. I was moved by thematic songs like “This is Me,” “Never Enough,” and “From Now On.” I should give kudos to Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for making such wonderful songs. In fact, I feel like these guys are on a fast-moving train that is making no plans on stopping soon. Pasek and Paul are on a hot streak from hit shows on Broadway (“Dear Evan Hansen”,”‘A Christmas Story: The Musical”) to financially successful movies (this and “La La Land”). ‘The Greatest Showman” made $407 million worldwide, while “La La Land” made $340.5 million. Although “La La Land” had more critical acclaim, “The Greatest Showman” had a bigger studio release.
Like I said, music aside, the story is well done. It highlights an incredible story of someone coming from nothing and becoming something. I don’t care if it seemed familiar, P.T. Barnum revolutionized show business. Hugh Jackman did a great job portraying the famous ring master, he definitely deserved that Best Actor nod at the Golden Globes. As for the rest of the cast, Zac Efron was better than I thought he would and so was Rebecca Ferguson.
I had a few concerns with ‘The Greatest Showman.” One being that I wished I saw more from the circus freaks. For instance, ff we got a flashback scene on the bearded lady explaining how she has beard. Another concern I had with this movie- and its major- is that Ferguson’s character is an opera singer yet when she sings she’s not operatic. I could tell because during the song “Never Enough,” the voice (another person sang for Ferguson) didn’t hit high notes that opera singers hit.
At this point, I have nothing else to say. You decide whether or not you should see this movie, I’ll stay out of your way. My overall opinion is that it’s a pretty mess with pieces that don’t fit the puzzle.