Recently re-watching The Greatest Showman I can say that this is one of those movies that you can only see once. The first time watching it, I was mesmerized by all the pageantry, the singing, although the plot still leaves me unimpressed. The plot follows a young boy who grows up poor that falls in love with a girl who is a different social class. Because of his own status, it makes this love one that is frowned upon and now Hugh Jackman makes it his life’s goal to become a man that is worthy of his love’s affection. To do this, Hugh Jackman’s character gathers a group of “misfits” and creates a show of oddities. A circus if you will. But, as he becomes more successful and is no longer poor, he is never fully accepted by high society. This need for acceptance becomes an obsession for Hugh Jackman’s character and we get to watch as his motives are no longer to earn the affection of the woman he loves, which he has from the beginning of the movie, but rather to gain acceptance in a society that he doesn’t really want to be a part of. Because of his obsession, he ends up forgetting why he started the show in the first place and hurts the only people that had faith in him.
As plots go, you aren’t watching this movie for the plot. You are watching it for the singing, so I will excuse all the holes and some of the bad dialogue in this film. And as far as the singing goes, I have seen way worse musicals. The issue is that on second viewing, this movie lost all its charm and I was bored with it. Maybe it was watching it on a smaller screen with weaker speakers, but it didn’t hold the magic that I remembered it having when I watched it first.
I wish that they had gone a little more over the top in this film and not try to be as serious. I wish that they didn’t use so much CGI in this film. And I wish that Hugh Jackman’s character wasn’t such a dick. I get it, the premise was clear, but I didn’t spend enough time with his character to forgive him being a dick when he turns into one. My biggest issue is how quickly all of the drama in the this film is solved. Again, I can excuse this because of the genre of the film but it doesn’t change the fact that this is one of those movies that you can only view once or twice. I don’t see this movie having a long shelf life like other films of the genre because the story and the songs aren’t extremely memorable. Maybe I am not the target audience, maybe I don’t know enough music to fully appreciate it but I couldn’t get into it the second time around.
If you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching it. It’s a good sit the first time around. If you have already seen it, you should know where you stand. Check it out.