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The Greatest Showman - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Jan 11, 2018 - 12:41:31 PM

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The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

A straightforward musical about the birth of a bygone era of entertainment.

The Impossible Comes True

A young clerk for a shipping company dreams of a better life for his wife and two daughters. When he is let go after the company goes bankrupt he risks what little money he has to start a venture that would become a world renowned attraction of entertainment for years to come.

P. T. Barnum is an ambitious showman and entrepreneur who was driven to be successful with what he had at his disposal while flying to the face of social norms of that time. Charity Barnum is P.T.’s wife who dealt with her husband’s need to prove himself in the eyes of her father and the high society crowd that she came from while tending to the needs of their two daughters. Phillip Carlyle is a playwright who comes from high society and chooses to become P.T.’s partner partly to get closer to the trapeze artist Anne Wheeler who is part of his show. Jenny Lind is a famous Swedish singer who is the toast of Europe and teams with P.T. on a tour through the United States of America as a way of legitimizing his image.

The Greatest Showman is a musical period drama that is full of the glossy spectacle used in holiday season films of the past. The story centers on the more positive aspects of P. T. Barnum’s life and his creation of what would become the Barnum & Bailey Circus which makes it feel a bit disingenuous at times. Hugh Jackman carries this movie in every way, shape and form as his passion for the role is obvious in each note of every song he sings in this musical and in his delivery of every line of dialogue he utters. Michael Gracey does a solid job in his directorial debut and I look forward to seeing what he directs next as a way of gauging his artistic pattern as a director. The screenplay by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon feels a bit light like the type of thing P. T. Barnum would have written about himself, but is does check off all the tropes for a rags to riches story. If I had to comment on a major flaw with this theatrical release, it is that the music works well as a soundtrack but not as the music of a musical. The songs do not all feel right for that time period or the genre this film seems to be going for and that anachronistic quality can take you out of the motion picture. I rate this film a rating of 3 out of 5.

In Theaters

The Greatest Showman

See other reviews by Rouén HERE.

Rouén Robinson has been an avid moviegoer since childhood and has been critiquing motion pictures for almost a decade. He has been a film critic for The Cinemas on Tempo and was a judge for FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island, an off shoot of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). Rouén lives in Grand Bahama and can be reached at redr1976@icloud.com and on Twitter @thereelrouen

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