The movie is set around the period 1830 A.D. Hugh Jackman plays the role of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a penniless but ambitious young man whose mind is full of artistic imagination and creative ideas. Using his genius, he opens up an extraordinary circus which showcases people with natural oddities that is meant to inspire and shock the audience. The circus gains a lot of controversy as well as success. He soon starts exploring other opportunities which divert his mind from the circus. How he copes with his new found success and what becomes of the circus and its characters, forms the main crux of the story.
I like the fact that the movie is shown as a play with every technique used to enhance the storytelling of this play. This is a modern telling of an old tale with catchy songs and hypnotic dance numbers. Even through the storyline is set around 1800 AD; the music is not from that era. In fact the music is fresh and contemporary with a bit of hip-hop added to it. The choreography at certain times is breathtaking and they complement the music really well. The movie stirs a lot of emotions; you will feel happy, sad, angry and ultimately thrilled.
Hugh Jackman’s performance is infectious. I thought he was a one dimensional actor, but boy, he has given a fantastic performance in this film. I like him far more over here than as “Logan” in X-Men. The choreography, dance numbers, costumes and glitz and glamour of the grand circus theme gives the movie a visual and sonic experience. The musical sequence between Zac Efron and Zendaya is simply breathtaking. In fact, this scene alone is worth the price of a movie ticket.
Although the whole film is brilliant, yet at some places it can get a little incoherent. For instance, the conflict between main characters is resolved too quickly with a song and dance moment. The film seems to jump from one scene to another without the chance of a worthwhile character development. In some cases, the motives of the character are not established for the steps he is taking.
Despite these occasional flaws, the film is just so well done; it will breeze right through its two hours running time without overstaying its welcome. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is all about entertaining you with vivid colors and in making your foot tap to the awesome music. It is also about celebrating entrepreneurial spirit and celebrating diversity which is something I can well relate to. This movie is charming, uplifting and a complete family entertainer. My verdict for this movie is a solid 8 out of 10.
You can also check out my reviews and recommendations of other films in the Movies page.