Flash Movie Review: The Greatest Showman

THE AROMA OF ELEPHANT dung was one of the strongest memories I took away from the circus. I only went to the circus once when I was around 6 years old. To get to our seats we had to walk down a long aisle where the floor was covered in sawdust. Once we were seated I was able to see three rings set up in the arena, with the middle one much larger than the other two. I was excited to be there because all I wanted to see were the tigers. To start the show a tall man dressed in a tuxedo with a top hat walked into a single spotlight that then followed him to the large ring; his amplified voice reverberated throughout the massive arena. From one end of the arena several spotlights pierced the dark and lit up a parade of elephants walking in single file as they made their way around the arena. As they passed where I was seated one of the elephants defecated. Because it happened at the far edge of the arena none of the circus performers noticed what happened, so it remained there for the entire show.     MAYBE THAT IS WHY I never wanted to go to the circus after that time. The only type of circuses I will go to today are the ones that are animal free. Even if that elephant had not altered my feelings about the circus I would not go to a circus that used animals for entertainment. For the type of circus events I have attended I get to see humans doing unhuman things; this is the way I describe it, because the performers are doing such spectacular things they almost look as if they are not of earth. There is one particular company that travels around the world, pitching a massive tent in an open space, where the performers are dressed in a variety of costumes and makeup. This is my favorite event to see because at one time I can witness people from all different walks of life, from all different parts of the world, come together and create something magical. I do not know how someone could say anything negative about such an environment.     OUT OF WORK AFTER the company he worked at went bankrupt Phineas Taylor Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman (Pan, Logan), had an idea. It was an idea that sounded crazy but he did not care what people said, he was willing to take the chance. This musical, dramatic biography also starred Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea, My Week with Marilyn) as Charity Barnum, Zac Efron (Baywatch, Dirty Grandpa) as Phillip Carlyle, Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming, K.C. Undercover-TV) as Anne Wheeler and Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train, Despite the Falling Snow) as Jenny Lind. The look of this film was wonderful; I thought the sets and costumes were a perfect fit. As for the music written by the same writers who did La La Land, I thought it was much better in this picture; I can actually remember a few of the songs. Sadly despite the decent acting the script failed this film. You got these big, beautiful song and dance numbers connected with a weak script that lacked emotion. I felt a disconnect between the drama of the singing with the acting parts. There was such a timely message to the story that I wished would have been explored more in hopes of connecting everyone together. I would not say this circus movie reminded me of the smelly circus I went to as a kid, but this film could have used a bit of air freshener to make it a better show.


2 ¼ stars




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 29, 2017, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Excellent write up but sadly can’t play the video on my mobile phone 📱.
    Season greetings to you and to your near and dear ones.

  2. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to the history of sideshows etc so I’ve read a few biographies of Barnum. Based on the trailer alone, they seem to be taking massive liberties with the character and story which I think I would find completely irritating. It’s a shame as I think Jackman is very talented in this kind of thing but I probably won’t see it.

  3. I think I’ll like this movie, because I was always fascinated by the circus.

  4. Sensacional!!! Tú presentación, por el cine, me encanta. Los hombres excepcionales, gran relato, en el último párrafo me he perdido un poco… Pero voy a mirar más de tus post. Seguro que encuentro una buena relación.

  5. Wishing you a very Wonderful New Year 😀

  6. A great review! An interesting opinion on the show, it’s amazing to see how people have different thoughts. I actually reviewed it today and I loved it, such a great movie. Obviously your thoughts were a little different but you could tell you were telling the truth about what your view was.👍🏻

  7. Great review! Your story about your experience at the circus was quite amusing. I like that you pointed out the script. Dialogue is such an important part of a movie that can be lost at times. Check out some of our reviews and more! Great job!

  8. I’m off to see it this weekend. Better late than never!

  9. I loved it, but more importantly, so did my partner. I say that because I have a habit of taking him to see ‘duff’ movies, and he just sits there squirming, vowing never again. Glad I made a good judgement call!

    • Hi Jane I am thrilled you both enjoyed yourselves at this movie and especially because your partner did not have a negative experience. Thank you for sharing your comments.

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