The Greatest Showman Review by Maggie Street Magazine©
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Being a fan of the Vaudeville era, the circus sideshow, and the world of curiosities & oddities, I was drawn to ‘The Greatest Showman’ despite my reluctancy to watch a contrived Hollywood rendition of P.T. Barnum’s life.
There was little historical accuracy to the film, as vividly pointed out by Harriet A. Washington. That was to be expected, as it’s a Hollywood recreation, not a peer reviewed historical documentary. (If you require accuracy, don’t watch Hollywood films, simple as that.)
Neglecting to watch any trailers of the film I didn’t know it was going to be a musical. Within the first 10 minutes, when I realized that it was, in fact, a musical, I thought I might’ve bashed my head against the theater wall, such is my disdain for musicals…
However, with this film’s uptempo choreography and an immaculate performance by Loren Allred, (the voice-over for Jenny Lind’s opera scene) they were able to pull it off.
Overall, I liked the film. Michael Gracey’s vision may not have included an in-depth analysis of the controversial nature of P.T. Barnum (some say he was philanthropist, others say he was a vile racist hoaxer) or delved as much into the lives of his performers as I hoped he would have, but it does offer a dramatic story, solid direction, and dazzling cinematography.
I would recommend ‘The Greatest Showman’, especially if musicals are your thing.