The Greatest Showman Movie Review: It Is  Better Than La La Land!


The Greatest Showman

Starring Hugh JackmamZac Efron,Michelle Williams, RebeccaFergusson

Directed  by Michael Gracey

Rating: *** ½(3 a  half stars)

What  is  it about morality tales that makes them so perennially desirable? And  what’s with this imperishable renewability  of Broadway-styled  musicals?   The answers  to both the questions are embedded in the enchanting cadences and undulating paces  of  The Greatest Showman, a film that holds up remarkably well at the fag-end of  the year as a shining shimmying mirror image of an untouched unspoilt soul  dancing to a  beat that discredits any cynical interpretation.

Unmistakably  oldfashioned and sinfully melodious, The Greatest Show marks the musical debut of X Men star Hugh Jackman. I last  saw him grieving for  a lost innocence in the action weepie Logan. In this  film Hugh restores  our faith in the power of music  and love to heal .

The  film  purports to be  a bio-pic of sorts chronicling  the  life times and flamboyant staged spectacles that the 19th century showman P T Barnum created by gathering  together the outcasts  of society  , the dwarf, the bearded woman, the obese man and , at that time in the history of America even the Black Americans were considered outcasts. When they come together on  stage, anything can happen.

And it does!

 The  narrative brings together the strands of the music dance and sheer  joie de vivre with an  effervescence  reminiscent  of  2016’s  Broadway-on-celluloid La La Land.  The Greatest Showman has more vitality than that  overrated  film last year where  two goodlookingpeople danced to show us how aesthetic they looked in doing so. InThe Greatest Showman the  choreography is  far more spontaneous.  The  characters are far less immaculate than Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Far more flawed and passionate  in their propensity to live beyond their means  by expressing themselves  through songs and dance.

 The music and choreography are absolutely first-rate. I found  myself humming the numbers  like ‘A Million Dreams’ ‘Come Alive’ and  ‘This Is  Me’ long after the magical  film played itself out. The  narrative suffused in the  magic  of  nostalgia  and yearning , puts a hum in  the audience’s  soul and song on  the lips.

Enchanting from the word go, somewhere down  the line The greatest Showman becomes a morality tale about  success driving the  protagonist away from his roots .Rebecca  Fergusson as a tragic melodramatic singer  whose ‘pure’ voice dilutes the very essence of  what Barnum stands  for. There  is  also a touch  of  forbidden love between Zac Efron  and Zanadaya and their musical number sung and danced on trapeze  bars , is simply spellbinding.

 Beautiful  to behold and  possessing a  soul to match The Greatest Show  reveals the unexpected musical  side to Hugh Jackman’s talent. Who would have  thought he had it in him?!   The musical  format brings out the best in all the actors in this gem of  a movie. Innovative,  colourful and clogged with that quality which Barnum invented—showmanship—this big-screen experience is just the way to end the  year.

The Irrepressible, Unstoppable, Brutally Outspoken and Devastatingly Beautiful Twinkle Khanna!

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