This year’s La La Land?
Following the critical acclaim of last year’s multi Oscar-nominated hit – musicals seem to be making a bit of a comeback.
Cue The Greatest Showman, a good old-fashioned, cheesy, tap-your-feet musical extravaganza – which even features music from the songwriters of the aforementioned La La Land (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul).
It tells the story of eccentric entrepreneur PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman), who came from humble beginnings, struggling to give his two daughters and wife Charity (Brokeback Mountain’s Michelle Williams) the glamorous life he feels they deserve.
Things become worse when Barnum is faced with redundancy. However, before long, he is inspired. He notices people’s fascination with the weird and wonderful folk around him (a bearded lady, the world’s shortest man etc) and makes them the stars of his show – alongside the likes of Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours), Rebecca Ferguson (Life) and Zendaya (Spider-man).
Sound familiar? Yes, Barnum was the founder of the circus that eventually became the world-famous Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
But the journey to get there wasn’t smooth sailing to say the least.
Some people will probably even walk into the screening of the film not realising it’s an actual musical. After all, it doesn’t even mention that fact in the trailer – and if you’re anti-musicals you probably aren’t going to enjoy this.
Ultimately, when you call your film The Greatest Show, you’re setting yourself up for big expectations – but sadly it’s never quite as polished as La La Land and the choreography lacks the imagination of similar musicals such as Moulin Rouge.
But the story – which doesn’t quite get to the heart of Barnum – is more than passable fare, and a major redeeming factor is that the songs are genuinely catchy.
Credit to the songwriters, Pasek and Paul, for coming up with a few notable numbers that go some way to saving this show.
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey, Yahya Abdul-Mateen Ii, Ellis Rubin and Skylar Dunn
Running Time: 1 Hr 45 Mins
Director: Michael Gracey
See The Greatest Showman and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’