Showman

Review: The Greatest Showman

Have your Spotify ready for your new favorite playlist.

As a big musical and theatre lover, I was definitely looking forward to this movie. I was hoping it would reach a “Moulin Rouge” level or at least be more satisfying than “La La Land” (sorry, I didn’t like that one). Nowadays the majority of movie watchers love musicals and sing-alongs. The target audience has grown from a specific crowd to kind of everyone. We all love a feel-good movie, where the actors sing their troubles away. I guess that’s why “Les Misérables” wasn’t a success, that’s just a very sad story.

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Anyways. Here we start 2018 (or at least in Belgium) with “The Greatest Showman”. The movie where Wolverine is a singing circus director and two Disney stars become Fox god(es)s. In “Les Misérables” we see Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, where he sings the entire movie. Luckily Jackman has quite a lot of dialogues in TGS. You will however immediately notice the autotune or upgrade of sound when you hear him sing. It sounds quite fake to be honest. It is pleasant, but for a trained ear it sounds like Justin Bieber at an older age.

Jackman plays Phineas Talylor Barnum, P.T. Barnum short, the famous circus director. Barnum dreams of a big show where he introduces “freaks” to the world (people who were seen as freaks in the 19th century). He called his show “the greatest show on earth”. What the show looked like in reality (this is actually a real story) is probably a bit less sparkly than in the movie or portrayed by Fox. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been in that time to have set up that kind of show. The audience contains all kinds of people, except the high society, the only target audience Barnum truly wants at his shows.

DF-11638_R – Philip (Zac Efron) is entranced by Anne’s (Zendaya) trapeze artistry in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

The main topic of this movie, which is also a song in the score, is “never enough”. Barnum never seems to have enough or be enough. As the son of a tailor, raised a poor boy, he has never felt like he was enough for society. Even though he marries a very rich young lady, who is totally in love with Barnum and his dreams. This lady, Charity (how ironic), is played by Michelle Williams. Jesus, so much envy for the golden beauty that she is. Her hair is like a Disney princess and her clothes are so shiny, silky and perfect.

Barnum discovers Jenny Lind, a Swedish opera singer. While Barnum trusts his circus to his partner Carlyle, he takes Jenny on a big tour around the United States. Something he might regret later on.

Jenny is played by Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish actress, who hasn’t played a main character yet – IMDB will probably make a “no small parts” cover on her at some point. Her song “never enough”, has been on repeat for a small week now. Also, a lot of autotune, yet very emotional and heartbreaking. My favorite song of the film.

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Zac Efron is also a part of this cast. He plays the role of Philip Carlyle, Barnum’s partner. Efron also sings and of course falls in love with the prettiest girl in the movie, miss Anne Wheeler. Zendaya was cast to play Wheeler and she actually surprised me acting-wise. We know Zendaya from “Shake it Up”, a Disney series for t(w)eens. If you have seen “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, you’ll recognize her as “Michelle”.

The story is not the reason to go see this movie. You will want to see the movie for its happy vibes, the fun songs and beauty of costumes and decor. The film has a very high tempo and thus the story kind of disappears. If you want to know the history of Barnum, you’ll have to Google for details.

Fox has done great in 2017 with some of my favorites of past year f.e. “Hidden Figures”. Fox has been bought (or is going to be) by Disney. My personal love. I might be a bit scared of that new collaboration, but Fox is doing so well, I’ll just assume it’s going to be awesome.

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The Greatest Showman is great for families or a date with your cute boy-or girlfriend. Trust me, everyone was quiet during the movie. I have rarely noticed such an amazed crowd.

Since I can’t see myself as a regular movie viewer, I need to honestly tell you it was not as good as I hoped. It didn’t reach the Moulin Rouge level, it even seemed less credible in some way. I just didn’t believe it. I mean, I really liked, but my expectations were just too high.

So, I’ll recommend it as a nice movie, but maybe don’t expect it to be the best movie you’ll ever see.

I am rating this movie at 

7.5/10

My name is Liesje, which sounds like Alicia Keys, but without the A and the amazing voice. I am Disney obsessed, I watch movies on daily basis and I love making jokes about myself. I don't speak Nintendo, sorry.