I had a lot of thoughts. Here are six of them...
1. This is beautiful
I am no cinephile, but The Greatest Showman was a beauty of a movie. From the costumes to the set design, I was reminded of the benefits of creating movie musicals rather than saving them for the stage. The film, to me, was very reminiscent of La La Land because it showcased the amazing creativity in the movie musicals of this era. Everything about the cinematography was so aesthetically pleasing and added to the overall element of wonder.
2. Ashley Wallen embodies “ingenious”
Wallen, the choreographer, should be praised for his work in The Greatest Showman. According to Dance Magazine, Wallen choreographed everything from Michelle Williams and Hugh Jackman’s ballroom dancing to Zendaya and Zac Efron’s trapeze duet. Jackman and Efron’s choreography in “The Other Side” definitely “trade[d] [the] typical for something colorful” by enhancing a back-and-forth conversation with innovative, high-energy dancing. Wallen and the cast of The Greatest Showman also managed to give me full-body goosebumps while the whole ensemble danced to “From Now On.”
3. Where’s the opera?
I will try not to give too much away about Jenny Lind’s character, but this is my official trigger warning to anyone who has yet to see the film. Lind, who supposedly is a famous opera singer, sings a solo without slipping into an opera voice once. I don’t want this minute detail to take away from the rest of the movie; just imagine me gripping the arms of my movie theater seat expecting to hear Christine Daaé.
4. These are some really great showmen (and show-women)
Do you ever feel immensely proud of people you’ve never met? That’s exactly how I feel towards Keala Settle and Eric Anderson. It might be the fact that I listen to the Waitress soundtrack as part of my daily routine, but these two are truly talented. Settle’s powerful voice accompanies the powerful message in “This is Me,” and I can’t think of a better actress to have portrayed the role. The two young actresses, who played Caroline and Helen Barnum, were also very talented and provided some of the most comedic scenes of the movie.
5. So much is happening so quickly
This isn’t so much of a complaint as it is an observation. One of my favorite things about musicals is the emotions they stir up inside of you. The Greatest Showman did just this, but sometimes rushed me in the process. It just seemed as though some scenes were developed to make me feel something while I barely had the chance to. It is understandable though—The Greatest Showman contains multiple inspirational themes and a few subplots without going stale. The movie’s quick pace did a great job at keeping the energy flowing.
6. I want to see a stage adaptation
It might take a while, but I will wait for the day this story can be told on stage. With its incredibly dynamic soundtrack and creatively expressive choreography, I believe The Greatest Showman would be amazing live. The messages of confidence, love, acceptance, and dreaming are perfect for the very human experiences live theatre allows.