Hugh Jackman shone in his latest film, The Greatest Showman, however the musical inconsistencies are hard to ignore.
Loosely based around the life of Phineas T. Barnum, an American showman who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1871, the themes explored in the film are: going from rags to riches, failure and success. It teaches the audience to never give up, and to appreciate what you already have. It features heartwarming moments in the story, making it a feel-good show.
There is a good balance of singing and dialogue, but the transitions between the two were not as effective as they could have been. The pop style collection of songs did not fit with the 19th century setting of the movie, they were what you might typically hear on the radio today. This made it hard to feel immersed in the story itself. However, this does not mean the music was bad; on the contrary, they were catchy and uplifting.
On the topic of music, Jenny Lind, played by Rebecca Ferguson, was introduced as the “Swedish Nightingale”, a famous opera singer from the 19th century. This led to the expectation of hearing opera from the character, but instead sang pop style songs with a heavy American accent. This affected the flow of the story.
Despite this, the choreography and music performed by the talented cast was very impressive and enjoyable to watch. At some points in the film it was hard to know what was going on because the story telling was not so great. Hugh Jackman nevertheless is very suited to his role as P.T. Barnum. The movie as a whole is a light, fun experience and a great musical for the whole family.