The latest big screen musical is the story of the life of P.T. Barnum, albeit leaving much, if not most, of his life. This is less of a biopic than it is a piece of historical fiction.
Phineas T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) was a young boy from a lower class family who falls in love with a higher class young lady Charity (Michelle Williams), and he swears that he is going to give her a great life. PT eventually lead to creating a “circus” including some talented “oddities” and striving for the stars.
I will say that when the young boy version of PT (Ellis Rubin) started to sing his song, it kind of threw me off. I knew this was a musical, but the first song really caught me off guard. It was a weird feeling.
I got past that feeling as the movie continued. I will say that I found most, if not, all of the songs really enjoyable. They were toe-tapping and the choreography was wonderful. There was a song with Zendaya and Zac Efron where they were singing with the trapeze rope that was breath-taking.
I thought the acting here was very strong with the cast doing a great job. However, I think most of the story was pretty surface level and the plot points did not go into any real depth. The writing was average and did not create the characters into more than two dimensional.
Great singing and dancing, but average to below average story and characters, The Greatest Showman does have some redeeming qualities. If you are a fan of musicals, you’ll probably enjoy this film, but there are some definite items lacking here.