By Toby Huxley (Wrexham)


The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya in what is quite obviously a living dream of Hugh Jackman’s.

I don’t say that in a negative way, but in a way in which I mean that you can tell Jackman has been dying for this film to come through after it’s long time in development (7 years).

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed The Greatest Showman, it’s a musical that knows what it is and has a great time doing it. And it becomes even more enjoyable seeing that the cast of the film are enjoying themselves too. Even though Hugh Jackman doesn’t give an outstanding performance, it’s still a wonderful take on P.T Barnum, despite the historical accuracy of practically the whole, but hey-ho, it’s a damn musical with glittery elephants, so shut up and smile because you know you want to.

Even though I’m not a fan of musicals ever since I tortured myself by watching High School Musical when I was younger, the choreography and lyrics of this film stand out and make you want to sing along with the cast. For me, the stand out scene had to be the one that takes place in the bar between Efron and Jackman.

The plot may be a bit squiffy, as the film sometimes changes it’s pace suddenly, but overall it’s a good time that’s easy to follow. In many ways as well Jackman creates an enigma with the character of Barnum, as to me the film sometimes felt like a revenge story for Barnum himself, trying to prove to everyone what a success he’s become, but ultimately hurting the one’s he loves the most in the process.

Some negative points I do have to say however is the blatantly auto-tuned voices for some of the actors (mainly kids). And I don’t mean they’re only a slight twist of a knob to make them sound better, but I mean these kids are sounding like Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia. Also, I personally felt as though the whole ‘oddity’ of Zendaya’s character was too obvious. However, I did figure out within a couple of minutes, I couldn’t quite put my finger on her ‘strange’ characteristic. I mean there’s the bearded lady, the ‘Dog Boy’, Tiny Tom thumb, etc. But as soon as I remembered the time period, it clicked with me that it’s due to the colour of her skin that she is an outcast. Which yes, makes sense for the setting, but I think could’ve been elaborated a bit further and made a bit more, well, obvious. As I think younger viewers (as this is a PG film) won’t instantly realise what is meant to be Zendaya’s big stand out feature.

Over all of this though, I need to talk about some of the scenes that include CGI, because by god, it’s bad. Now this isn’t a big deal, because the film obviously doesn’t care too much about how well it can render a train in the countryside. But for some of the set pieces, it feels like CGI that has been used for TV commercial selling a video game.

Overall, The Greatest Showman is a triumphant success for Jackman and the rest of his party in creating a film that is fun, comedic and a good time. Although at times it does slow down, and also lose its charm due to the poor CGI, they’re easy points that you can brush over, and get sucked back into this world that has been created.

Rating: 4/5



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