My review of The Greatest Showman (2017)

This may be an unpopular opinion in my house, but I…. really didn’t care for The Greatest Showman (2017) starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. The film is a fantasy version of the story of P.T. Barnum, the showman who eventually started a traveling circus. The real life P.T. Barnum was all about taking people with deformities, and showing them off as “oddities.” The fantasy version of P.T. Barnum was about putting on a good show, and hires people with deformities to be his entertainers. And every five minutes, we have a song for the audience to tap their toes to.

I’m sorry — I’m not trying to be a hater, but let’s acknowledge that this is a fantasy, and not at all biographical.  The film starts many years earlier when P.T. Barnum is a poor child working for his father, a tailor. Soon enough, his father dies, and Barnum is living destitute on the streets. Somehow, he pulls his life together, gets sort of rich, marries the wealthy girl of his dreams (Michelle Williams), and they start a few businesses. He later starts his circus, gets very rich — rich enough to buy a ridiculously large mansion in record time. It’s unbelievable.

Eventually, Barnum wants to get more respectable, so he enlists playwright Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and famed Swedish singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson.) Blah blah, more songs.

The songs themselves are okay, but I wasn’t a fan of a song every 5 minutes. I also didn’t enjoy the fantasy version of Barnum. I could excuse the glossing over of the past, but the fantastical elements through me off. He goes from poor to rich, to starting his circus, to needing more attention. Sorry, I couldn’t get into this film.

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