If you are looking for an accurate depiction of P.T. Barnum’s life as the ringleader of Barnum’s circus and many other antics he pulled, this is not the movie for you. Instead, director Michael Gracey decides o quickly gloss over the biggest moments in his life. Each scene being filled with a new musical number and extravagant set is a lot of fun, which definitely makes up for the lack of storytelling throughout.
Hugh Jackman who plays P.T. Barnum obviously loves the opportunity to sing and dance around the screen. His presence when leading his group of “freaks” is dazzling and definitely steals the show each and every time. The songs, from LaLa Land lyricists, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are extremely fun. Everyone that knows me personally knows that I am not a musical fan, but I actually really enjoyed most of the songs and dance numbers in this film. Co-stars Zac Efron and Zendaya are also quite fun to watch. Efron brings his skills he most likely learned from High School Musical back and its very obvious this is not his first time dazzling the screen with his voice, and choreographed dance moves. There is one number with both Jackman, and Efron opposite of each other that I found extremely fun to watch.
My biggest issue is how the movie attempts to glaze over all of Barnums issues so quickly. Like his showing of what he calls freaks to the world for profit does not ever sit quite right with me. Despite all of there attempts in the songs to show empowering feelings like “This Is Me” the feeling is never quite shaken.
Although Barnum’s life is flawed and one may never feel like they completely trust him, “The Greatest Showman” is a great cinematic experience and you will most likely find yourself (like I did) singing along to the songs by the end, and still listening to them afterwards (like I am right now).