The Greatest Showman explores the life of P. T. Barnum who was the man behind the concept of a circus show. The film covers his childhood briefly and his voyage to the hearts of the common folks through his unique perception of art.
Positive Points: –
- The USP of the flick is undoubtedly its music and choreography which literally form its heart and soul.
- The performances of the entire cast especially that of Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle who are outstanding.
- An excellent production work with magnificent set designs, costumes and props which make the film visually appealing.
Negative Points: –
- The screenplay is extremely poor and lets down the tempo of the film time and again with its rushing nature.
- No doubt the movie is entertaining and likeable but it doesn’t really do justice to the vividity and vibrance of the life of P. T. Barnum and I blame the 105 minutes’ runtime for the same (along with the screenplay ofcourse). It probably should have been about 150 minutes long in order to encapsulate and do justice to what was expected from it.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Michael Gracey’s directional work was sort of a mixed bag for me which was filled with both surprises and disappointments almost equivalently. This is his first venture and I understand how difficult it must have been for him to shoulder such a heavy budget feature but I gotta be critical of his myopic vision. Gracey’s efforts to alleviate the film from its pathetic paper-work can be easily discerned but he couldn’t really abate its glaring flaws. As mentioned before, Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon’s screenplay is arguably the weakest and the most substandard thing in the film which actually pulls it back from being great. The writing doesn’t get into the copious details of Barnum’s life and rather seems like a short summary of the same. The character development isn’t satisfying, the emotional depth is missing and the film seems to have been rushed in order to envelop innumerable important elements within a short span of time.
Talking about the technical side, The Greatest Showman doesn’t shy away from flaunting its most excellent entities. The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey is awesome and the editing work supports it well though at times I wished the shots were continuous instead of having cuts. I’m sort of left without words for the musical numbers of the movie. I just couldn’t help myself from jiving to them throughout the run! The score, the songs, the choreography and the performances of the singers, all immortalise Pasek & Paul’s lyrical contribution to the movie. The album is a masterpiece and I couldn’t stop myself from downloading all of them as soon as I got hold of my laptop. It’s one of the best albums that I have heard in a long while and easily the best of the year. I won’t be surprised if the musical work in this flick picks up a couple of awards in the upcoming season. Another magnificence was exhibited in its beautiful set designs, costumes and props. Well I’m hoping for a few Oscar nominations for The Greatest Showman is the technical arena and I wish for a few wins too!
Very few thespians can express themselves as flamboyantly as Hugh Jackman does. Acting comes to him naturally and his expressiveness just lightens up the entire screen. It’s difficult to move your eyes from him throughout the film as he is beyond terrific!
Keala Settle is amazing as Lettie and pretty well manages to make her presence felt strong with both her acting and singing skills.
Michelle Williams may not have much screen space but she presents the poignancy of her character efficaciously.
Zac Effron and Zendaya are quite good. Rebecca Fergusson makes a strong cameo.
Final Verdict: –
I donot deny the fact that the screenplay was botched up and rather dismal to render the film as great but The Greatest Showman rises from its ashes like a Phoenix. The exceptional musical oeuvre, stellar production value and outstanding performances are too bright to whine over its shortcomings. I probably should award it a 2.5 star rating if I am totally honest to my job but the audience in me has a different feeling for the entire feature. If being a movie critic bars a movie freak like me from enjoying an amazing piece of work like this then I would probably consider my existence as fraudulent. Hence I’m going for one more star because deep inside I know how much I enjoyed The Greatest Showman and I don’t care what most readers contemplate about my vision after this leniency. All I can tell them is that, This is who I’m meant to be, I make no apologies, This Is Me!