Movie Review – The Greatest Showman

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Went to Johor Bahru with 2 friends today and after a bit of window shopping, we decided to watch a movie! Needless to say, movies in Malaysia is a lot cheaper than in Singapore. Even with the popcorn combos that we purchased, it came up to only RM74 for 3 of us and I had requested for the Star Wars combo so that I could have the R2D2 Tumbler/cup (yay!). That works out to be about S$8/pax including drinks and popcorn. I must say that the popcorn sucked…as the sugar was burnt so the popcorn was not tasty. As the floor was not carpeted, there was extra vibration whenever anyone walked up and down the aisle. Despite the speakers at the sides, I don’t think they were surround sound…or maybe again it’s due to the lack of carpeting that caused the sound to be less than ideal.

Anyway, back to the movie. We went to watch “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams. I went in completely clueless to what the movie was about and that it was a musical in the first place. To give you a little more meat about the story, perhaps you’d like to watch the trailer first:


As you can roughly get from the trailer, the movie is loosely based on the real P.T. Barnum and how he created the circus through some hardships as well as inspiration from the lives of those who make up the circus. Of course, there needs to be a couple of love stories in the movie to hook the audience in besides the music and dancing.

What I liked:

Let’s dive in to what’s good about this movie. The music was really good and I liked how it was modern without being cheesy nor Baz Lurhman-ish. Some of the songs are quite catchy and I’ll probably be catching up with them again on YouTube or Spotify. The choreography was also very well thought up and very seamless, with great chemistry between the cast members.

There was one particular scene that I was super impressed with and I’m still thinking about how they filmed it. The circus attractions were singing and dancing together with the bearded lady taking the lead vocals but while she was singing the second last stanza, the rest of the cast were jumping in the air where they were seen to be frozen while she was still singing in real time, and when she sung the last stanza, the cast hit the floor with a corresponding bang to the score and they all danced in sync again. Do watch out for that scene and tell me whether you were just as impressed as I was!

What I didn’t like:

It felt a bit all touch-and-go, as if they couldn’t decide whether to focus on the story of his success and downfall before picking himself back up or the greater story about how we shouldn’t judge others on their looks or colour of skin; or perhaps, the bittersweet irony that these ‘freaks’ who are on show due to their differences are actually teaching and allowing us to accept that everyone is unique. Perhaps they were trying to show a little bit of everything or they were being a bit cheeky because, just as the line from the movie was, “if it makes people happy” who cares if it is not the total truth.

Photo credits: IMBD

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