Decided to just list down a few thoughts on this movie that surfaced in my mind while watching and after watching the movie. There may be spoilers from here onwards, so I suggest you read the rest of this post only if you have already watched the movie, or have no intentions to watch it at all. Also, I am not going to comment on the historical accuracy of the movie, as that will be another issue altogether. I will just be giving my thoughts based on the movie alone.
I only watched the movie yesterday, and it was pretty rare that a movie could still be rolling for more than a month in the cinema. While many of my friends have watched it before me, and having seen a few reviews, the general consensus regarding “The Greatest Showman” was that the music, visuals and cast were great, but the story was lacking. I have also heard several of the songs beforehand and I really liked them, so overall I was really looking forward to finally watch the movie. Let’s start by stating what I enjoyed about the movie. As expected, the movie had great visuals, dancing and especially touching music. The different elements complimented really well together, giving the viewers a pretty mind-blowing experience. I also liked how there were meaningful themes behind the story. Throughout the movie, we experience values such as the celebration of humanity, embracing differences (or the weirdness in ourselves), loving ourselves for who we are and standing up against derogation, as well as the importance of family and friendship. Also, I liked how they brought up the issue of high art versus performances for the general public as entertainment. It was generally a feel-good movie with good music and a brilliant cast.
However, I felt that the start of the movie felt too rushed and broken up, with one scene jumping to the next, bridged by various musical numbers. There were also quite a few plot holes, and a lot of the problems/conflicts created were too easily resolved, resulting in the outcomes too simplistic and unrealistic. Despite so, I must say that the second half of the movie was much better, as the storyline unfolded and became clearer. This made me think, perhaps the starting was meant to be rushed and chopped up on purpose because that was not the most important part. It could just be like a brief background introduction and prelude to what was about to come, which was the climax and outcome of it. There were also a lot more issues that needed attention throughout the movie and not everything could be addressed. Thank goodness though, otherwise the story could be too draggy at the beginning.
Therefore, despite the plot holes and choppy scenes, I suppose the story development was not the most important element of the movie and hence not the priority for the producers and screenwriters. At the end of the day, the movie ultimately had a high entertaining factor. I could sense that the movie was not intended to tell a story as coherently as possible, but rather to incorporate music, dance, great visuals and dialogue to tell a story and share a few meaningful lessons. While watching the movie, the story bothered me at the start, but I gradually decided not to be too critical on the story development and found myself enjoying the movie a lot more, appreciating it mainly for its entertainment value. After all, the movie is largely for entertainment, and I don’t think anyone should take it more than that. Of course, it will be much better if they found a way to find a balance between great music and dancing with a well-developed story. Overall, I wouldn’t call it a musical, neither would I describe it as a few good music videos pieced together, although the musical numbers had really awesome visuals and transitions. That being said, I think “The Greatest Showman” could potentially be a really successful musical.
Now that I’ve watched the movie, I now understand the hype and buzz behind “The Greatest Showman”- Great singing and dancing, great visuals, and meaningful and relatable lessons behind the story. It’s a fun-filled movie, and there is something for everyone. I’m glad I watched it, and I would recommend it to others who like movies like that.
Till next time, take care everyone.