Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Greatest Showman is a movie that is prevalently spoken of by students and adults. People have and continue to rave about this movie and all its parts. If you have not heard of The Greatest Showman, you are missing out on this highly appraised film. Vogue even calls it the “Most Magic Musical of the Year!” If you have not seen The Greatest Showman, then you were in the same boat that I was once in. It released in December, and despite the fact that it is now mid-January, I had not seen this movie yet.

After reading a few summaries, I concluded (before actually seeing the film) that The Greatest Showman is a musical movie about P.T. Barnum (Jackman), a man with hopes of creating a show “spectacle” from nothing. His vision becomes a worldwide sensation. More and more musical movies have been popping up. La La Land, another musical movie that recently released, was nominated for 14 Oscars (including best picture) and won 6. La La Land brought an enormous fan base to life for these musical films. That is a high bar tofollow and lots of fans to please.

Big talent and money went into the movie – Showman stars big names like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya. The powerful duo behind the music for La La Land and Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, wrote the music for Showman. The director of photography, Seamus McGarvey, worked as the director of photography for The Avengers. The production designer, Nathan Crowley, did big name movies like Interstellar and Dunkirk. Even with all this positive hype, negative reviews about Showman were existent. Some said they advertised the movie as if Efron and Zendaya were going to be the leads, but they proved to have only supporting parts. Some reviewers and critics are being tough on the wonder that this movie radiates. Refinery29 even states that Showman comes as a disappointment to many musical theatre fans. Variety calls the movie plain “uncool.” With all of this in mind, before going to see this movie I did not know what to think. My friends and family have spoken so highly of this movie. La La Land is probably my favorite movie and as are other movie musicals. I did not want to be disappointed by this movie.

However, after seeing the film I was not entirely fulfilled nor disappointed. The soundtrack for the movie had me bopping in my seat. My only major critique for the music would be that some of the songs sounded similar to each other. The heart for Showman was also definitely there. The film got me attached to P.T. Barnum and had me hoping for his circus to be an astounding success. I felt for Charity when Barnum left for the tour. I wanted to be apart of the circus. The tone of wonder in this movie was not the issue.

Some very major points that kept me from making that last push from loving the movie was the lack of character development. Other than P.T. Barnum, none of the characters had a clear backstory. Most of the characters, other than Philip Carlyle, were static with no meaningful change or phase in their person. This gave the perception that the film really didn’t “move.” In addition to the charecter’s feeling as though they fell flat, the timeline for Showman was entirely non-existent. When Barnum left for the tour, it was never addressed for how long. It also wasn’t addressed on how long Barnum and Charity lived without the circus. Knowing little details about how the time frame panned out is crucial to understanding the characters to their full extent. Zendaya’s character, Ann Wheeler, was treated as though it was a major supporting role, what with her romance with Philip Carlyle. However, as the viewer, I had no backstory or understanding on who she was. Even when introducing her and her partner for the circus, she wasn’t the one who spoke, her partner was! And her partner had an even more minor role than she did. Throughout the whole movie, Zendaya said less than 20 lines.

Despite all of this, the amount of talent packed into this movie made it only better. The voices in the music can only be described as breathtaking. The stunts were also amazing, which after some research, I learned that Zendaya did all of her own stunts. The timing of the dances and numbers were also wonderful and pleasing (Hats off to the choreographer). The cinematography was also very good. In movies, I notice every little mistake in each shot, and the camerawork for this film was pretty spot on. The symmetry of some shots were great. As I mentioned before, the tone of this film was what made it magical. The whole story had me moving inside and out. This movie gives an added effect when seen in theatres that I do not think I would get in my own home. So, if you have not seen The Greatest Showman yet, I implore you, go do so.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Campus Life

    Upcoming College Fairs

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    ACP Alumni: Wrestling Into History

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    ACP Alumni: Winning the Gold

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    Prepping for College 101

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Campus Life

    ACP Clubs Are Back In Action

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    Tara Taylor – A Year’s Worth of Stories… And Then Some More

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    Tara Taylor – Midnight Heist

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    Rise of the Planet of the…Bees?

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    “Black Panther” Movie Review

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?

    Pursue Your Passion

    Tara Taylor – The Grade Marauder

Is “The Greatest Showman” Great?