The Greatest Showman Review


Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Directed by Michael Gracey with songs composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who also wrote songs for La La Land), this musical serves as a fantastic return to roots for Hugh Jackman who portrays P.T. Barnum and his journey to create what would come to be known as “the greatest show on earth”. The Greatest Showman positions itself as a story celebrating diversity, and the importance of embracing everyone.

The best part about The Greatest Showman is, without a doubt, its musical numbers. The film starts with the song “The Greatest Show”, a show-stopper which creates a feeling of wonder, making the viewer feel as if he is truly at center stage with Hugh Jackman. This effect is also in part thanks to cinematographer Seamus McGarvey keeping camera movements fluid. The film stands out with its colorful and memorable songs, as well as impressive choreography and cinematography during the songs’ accompanying scenes. These scenes wring out a number of happy emotions and present a plethora of awe-inspiring shots and visuals.

While The Greatest Showman had fantastic musical numbers, there were various issues within the actual plot of the movie, specifically during the second act as it begins to lose much of its focus and starts to devote time to various subplots. Some of these are necessary and are resolved before the film’s conclusion, but some of them only existed to clutter the plot and add some extra songs to the musical score. This made it much harder to enjoy The Greatest Showman until its conclusion, which does surprisingly well at wrapping up the story considering the messy plot that preceded it.

Aside from its muddled middle-chapter, The Greatest Showman is an entertaining and lively film. It explores unique themes, provides catchy and smile-inducing songs, and features a cast of fun characters. The film is best appreciated as a showcase for Jackman, who makes a dazzling Barnum and holds on to viewers’ sympathies even as the character proves to be something of a heel. Jackman’s performance is what show business is all about.