From the trailers, I was really expecting more of a tale about Barnum and how he grew into the Greatest Showman, not a full blown musical. There was really way more singing and dancing than I was expecting. This doesn’t make the film bad, in fact it was rather enjoyable, with some very catchy songs and some great choreography. It just wasn’t was I was expecting.
Basically, Hugh Jackman is in full-on musical mode, singing and dancing through a tale of creating the first circus freak show. There is also a bit of romance, some heartache, a bit of self realisation and a lot of singing. As the songs are so prominent they deserve some particular attention, most of them are really good and you soon find yourself nodding along to them but there are a couple of standouts that are uplifting (this is me for example). However, by the end they were feeling a bit samey (unlike La La Land which was done by the same composers and does at least provide variety). I must point out that Keala Settle as the bearded lady was great (now that’s something I thought I would ever write).
Note: There is even a sing-a-long version of the film at the cinema now so it must be popular.
Verdict: An enjoyable musical that would have benefited with a bit more substance. However, if you like your modern musicals (Mamma Mia, La La Land) you will probably love this.