846. The Greatest Showman

Title: The Greatest Showman
Director: Michael Gracey
Year: 2017
Run time: 1hr 45m

“THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is an original musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman. Barnum was a visionary who rose from nothing to create the “Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and celebration of his larger-than-life imagination that captivated audiences around the globe.”

Live blog

6:47 – Clever lighting already in this film.
10:05 – I didn’t know Michelle Williams could sing.
13:25 – “That’s what makes our life together so exciting.” She’s putting a positive spin on things.
14:42 – He made a Strictly Glitterball.
19:20 – How do you get word of mouth started? So difficult.
21:51 – “They’re laughing anyway kid, might as well get paid.” Harsh.
28:15- Where’s Zefron though?
31:47 – “Theatre critic who can’t find joy in the theatre..”
35:30 – Their bedroom is bigger than our whole house.
35:56 – ZEFRON!
36:48 – “Comfort, the enemy of progress.”
41:30 – “Everyone’s got an act.”
43:30 – Feels weird to me that Buckingham Palace plays host to not-Elizabeth.
49:11 – How can he have so casually thrown them all under the bus like that?? Makes no sense.
1:00:12 – That song stands head and shoulders above the rest.
1:02:59 – Zefron being the good guy where Hugh is NOT.
1:07:01 – That’s some impressive rope choreography.
1:08:14 – “You don’t need everyone to love you, Phin, just a few good people.”
1:16:19 – Liar.
1:22:16 – “I never minded the risk but we always did it together.”
1:32:26 – Zefron is cute, sings, and is good with money too!
1:35:37 – Elephant really isn’t the fastest way to travel.

Conclusions

I’ve wanted to watch this for a while now, knowing just how well it did with audiences and how popular the soundtrack was, but the timing has never quite been right. Thankfully, the despondency that followed watching the Avengers: Infinity War debacle put us in exactly the right mood for something a little more lighthearted and a lot more musical.

I can see why people love it, for the wonderful scenes of standing up for the people you love, treating everyone as equals, celebrating the differences, and enjoying a bit of romance along the way. I must admit I didn’t think the songs were that great, only This is Me and Rewrite the Stars stood out, the rest was pretty much instantly forgettable. It was fun in the moment but not memorable after the fact.

I was a bit disappointed that Hugh Jackman’s character was quite such an asshole but everyone has to go on a journey of redemption I suppose, and compared to the real deal our PT Barnum character is a charmer! It’s a small complaint really, for what is a feel-good film with inspirational songs and a happy ending. Bravo.

Rating: 4/5.