Thoughts: The Greatest Showman: The Musical
It's ironic that the same year we close the circus, a film comes out about its creation; but it's actually pretty good. It's everything you would expect from the circus including death-defying acts and plenty of animals on display, but most of all, it has one killer soundtrack.
Hugh Jackman is phenomenal in this film as P.T. Barnum as he chases the dream of giving everything his family could ever want. That's all upended when he gets fired and puts it all on the line for his family by opening an emporium extraordinaire. It's a story for dreamers and the unique while also being a story that everyone can get behind. That being said, this film lacks the one thing that makes a good film, and that is the lack of drama. Everything seems to fall into place once things get going and P.T. Barnum does nothing to exactly earn any of his success as he exploits others for his benefit. The lack of big drama means that the stakes aren't very high and could very much use a central villain or at the very least make the success feel earned through a grind of consecutive failures.
Despite all of that, the soundtrack is amazing. I can't stop listening to it and it is very catchy being that it comes from the same guy behind last years big winner La La Land. There's also a lot of work done behind each song and dance routine. Every piece flows and is one big set piece after the other. With that in mind, it feels like they created the music first and the plot later. That's not to say the music is bad, but rather it is the best thing about the film. It's just that it feels like the story was an after thought.
Overall, this film is worth seeing on the big screen. It may not be the big film the previews promise, but instead it is the musical event of the year. Go for the soundtrack and stay for the great duet between Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron as it is the best thing about the film. I feel like this film would work best on Broadway as a musical. I can see this being turned into one if the film does great, but in case that doesn't end up happening, go see The Greatest Showman.