I accidentally saw this in theaters three times and honestly I would go see it again and again and again.
This film was not necessarily my favorite film of 2017 but it was one of the most fun and entertaining experiences I have had in theaters in quite a long time. Now this film was not perfect and I understand why many disliked it but I have such a soft spot for musicals and this film as a musical was so satisfying and beautiful. The music in this film was written by Benji Pasek and Justin Paul who both also wrote the music for the broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, which stars the wonderful Ben Platt and, if you are not familiar with the broadway world, has blown up. The music in The Greatest Showman is, in my opinion, one of the, if not, the biggest reason why I am so in love with it. The music is so powerful and it will not leave your head for at least a week after listening to it. Some tracks like The Greatest Show, This Is Me, The Other Side, Rewrite the Stars, and more are some of my favorites and some of the most played and well received songs. I could talk and gush about the music for hours, Benji and Justin are two geniuses who I admire and hope keep creating more beautiful, powerful and inspiring music.
Looking at this film outside of the music, I probably would not be as in love. The acting was fine, Zendaya and Zac Efron were both phenomenal and their chemistry was realistic. They are a couple that I would never put together in my head but somehow this film made it work and thanks to both Zendaya and Zac's performances I believed the relationship. The rest of the characters were enjoyable but I feel as though we really did not get to know them as much as we should have. I understand that this was a biopic about P.T. Barnum but a lot of the film was fictionalized and P.T. Barnum was not the most likable man. This film definitely made him likable, considering he was played by the lovable Hugh Jackman, but I feel as though the other characters should have had more shining moments, I cared about them more. The film focused on a wealthy white man and his wealthy white male partner. The theme of the film was inclusion and accepting/loving who you are, if we got to know the other characters we could have really felt this inclusion and been able to feel more represented in the film. We wouldn't be only seeing Barnum's perspective but all the other characters perspectives and this would lead us to understand them which leads to relating to them and accepting them. For example, the bearded lady or the dog boy, we do not really know their back stories, we know very little about them all honestly besides their "act", would have loved to see them more personalized. We did get a decent amount of Zendaya's character which I loved that storyline, her and Zac, but I would have loved more songs like This Is Me and the moments when all the circus characters began to realize they belonged and even if there were people who protested them, they still found their family and that they are not alone. These themes of the film were obviously there and the film was trying to push these themes with the song This Is Me and such but I would have loved to see it even more apparent.
On a more technical note, some of the CGI in this film was not doing it for me. CGI is incredible and it amazes me in so many ways but sometimes films make it way too obvious that CGI is being used. Some CGI aspects in this film were so obvious that it distracted me and took me out of the film, realizing that the world is fake. For example, at the end of the film when P.T. Barnum chases and jumps on the train to get back to his wife and family, it is painfully obvious how fake it is and I understand how hard and amazing CGI is but I just could not not notice it and I rather just enjoy the film than notice the CGI. I appreciate the CGI animals considering the circus's past with animal abuse and the fact that the film did not use real animals. The film's world was colorful and fun and made the movie feel like a dream which I did enjoy but I just wish the CGI scenes weren't so distracting.
I forced many of my friends and family to see The Greatest Showman and they all came out loving it and I will continue to push people to see it because I had such a wonderful and, dare I say, magical experience watching the film. I understand the films faults and imperfections but looking at it from pure entertainment, I really enjoyed myself. I will forever blast the soundtrack and admire the beautiful and powerful music from this story.