The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

In Theatres: 
Dec 20, 2017
Running Time: 
105 minutes

For weeks I’ve had the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman stuck in my head, mostly because I’ve been playing it on repeat day after day but also because its lyrics are the kind that embed themselves in your head and never leave. It’s not surprising, given the fact that La La Land songwriters Pasek and Paul are the duo behind its tune. Music is what drives The Greatest Showman, and it’s the combination of musical numbers and heartwarming performances that make it one of my favorite films of the year.


The film chronicles the life of P. T. Barnum from his humble beginnings as the son of a tailor to his rise as the founder of what would become the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Wanting to give his family the life he believes they deserve, Barnum (Hugh Jackman) risks everything and decides to put on a one-of-a-kind show featuring uniquely interesting people and their talents. But as he builds his brand across the world, fame and fortune start to go to his head, and he begins to lose sight of what’s most important; family, both in his own and the one he’s created by bringing all these so-called outcasts together.


Make no mistake, Hugh Jackman truly is the greatest showman and a perfect fit for the eccentric dreamer that is P. T. Barnum. His performance is nothing short of spectacular as he sings, dances, and acts with a invigorating passion that permeates through the entire film and cast. The opening musical act of  “The Greatest Show” sets the upbeat and energizing tone of the film, and it really doesn’t let up. The choreography is stunning as well, bringing to life the lyrics of Pasek and Paul’s wonderful songs. Like the circus, prepare to be amazed by the spectacles you witness if front of your very eyes.


Furthermore, The Greatest Showman isn’t just about the song and dance. At its core it a heartfelt message about not being afraid to be yourself regardless of how others may view you. No song represents that better than "This Is Me," which is led by the talented Keala Settle, who plays Lettie Lutz, the bearded lady. Everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are, and no one deserves hate just for being different on the outside.


I’m a sucker for musicals, and The Greatest Showman delivers resounding performances on all fronts. Hugh Jackman delivers one of his best overall performances and brings a shining charisma worthy of the title. A stylish marvel filled with energetic songs and flashy choreography, The Greatest Showman will have audiences dancing in their seats.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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