We know that Hugh Jackman is a long time song and dance man, and that he will usually jump at the chance to be in a big budget musical, so it is no surprise that he excels in The Greatest Showman. What is a surprise is that while the music was fabulous almost no effort was put in to making the story around the music coherent.
The Greatest Showman is a tale about how P.T. Barnum rose from rags to riches selling tickets to see his ‘wonders’. Almost all of which were either exaggerations at best, or out and out lies at worst, but of course it was all in the name of entertainment, so it was okay.
The Greatest Showman is a mostly a feel good film about empowerment, and how Barnum gave a stage to people who would have otherwise been cast to the shadows. Of course it leaves out the part were he leased slaves, he couldn’t buy them since his show was based in New York, a free state, or that he barely paid or mistreated the rest. Not the you should ever go to biopic looking for historical accuracy, but The Greatest Showman doesn’t even try. All this movie wants to be is an uplifting film with great music, and the music is what you are coming for.
Every time someone opens their mouth a catchy tune comes out, and the dance numbers are all magical. They got such good performers to be in the movie, that even though no time is wasted on character development, you feel emotional every time a song is getting to its peak. There are no major misses on The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack.
If you are wondering if The Greatest Showman is for you, just ask yourself, “Do I like musicals?” If the answer is ‘yes’, you will probably love it. If the answer is ‘no’, than there is nothing in The Greatest Showman to change your mind. It is a movie filled with wonderful musical numbers and little else, but based off what I saw in the theater, it knows its audience well, and they were thrilled by it. Even I was swept up by its charms, but much like P.T. Barnum, charm is all there is.