Review: The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman BTS

Michael Gracey’s slick new musical, The Greatest Showman, brings to life the imagination of P.T. Barnum and his creation of the first circus.

Inspired by the legend of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), The Greatest Showman follows Barnum in a pursuit to piece together a dream-like show.

The film follows the businessman as he desperately tries to support his wife (Michelle Williams), and daughters. However, the urge to make the shower better and better ultimately gets in the way of both his personal and family life.

Magic and Spark

image of P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb

P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb – By Samuel Root or Marcus Aurelius Root Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Barnum knows exactly what he is looking for. He scouts several individuals who he believes are perfect for the show. Each and everyone of them, a spark or magic that completes the circus. His show includes;  bearded lady, Lettie (Keala Settle), and ‘the shortest man in the world’, Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey). Also, a partner in need (or to help his succeed)Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron).

The performers are part of a close family and stick together despite being ridiculed by the public. They are frequently humiliated and often labelled as ‘freaks’. This brings a lot of emotion to the film. It encourages a lot of positivity in that it helps promote individuality and equality.


As a musical, The Greatest Showman comes packed with musical numbers. It features a number of brilliant vocal performers including the likes of Jackman, Settle, Efron and Zendaya (who plays a trapeze artist and pretty much most of the cast). The songs themselves are very moving, through joy or sadness. Many of the songs will also have your feet tapping to the beat! At points, you’ll find yourself wanting to join in with the group!

Music is a powerful instrument which can often be emotive. The composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also worked on the music for La La Land, and Trolls, hit the mark. The songs were outstanding and often bought a tear to the eye.

Magical Moments

From the beautiful ballroom-esque dances of Jackman and Williams to the group dances by the circus family, the film was not short of magical moments. The camera angles were also spot on – from the beautifully shot symmetrical aerial shots to the moving steady cam shots.

Guaranteed Hit

Already nominated for three Golden Globes, The Greatest Showman is sure to be a hit with everyone. It is almost certain that it’ll leave you feeling emotionally drained. On the more positive side, it may even inspire people to spread a little Christmas joy and happiness!

Star Rating: 5 Stars