Directed by Michael Gracey and choreographed by Ashley Wallen, who also choreographed ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) and ‘La La Land’ (2016).
I was highly impressed with this film, I mean the storyline is a bit cliché and predictable and it did move very quick within the film, however the macro elements such as the relationships between characters, the family environments that get built and also the messages behind the story are told very well. When I say messages, I mean as in it tells the audience that, everyone is unique in their own way and to not be ashamed of that.
The camera work was very repetitive too, I found the DOP included many fast paced pans, and heavy tracking throughout the film, especially with the dance routines. It kind of made me feel slightly dizzy at times! There were also some nice faded transitions from black which added elements to the story as there were quite a few; P.T Barnum’s growing up family story, also his journey to his career and then the Jenny Lind story. Onto the main reason I think most people love this film, the soundtrack. Everyone I’ve spoken to about this film, love the soundtrack. Even people who haven’t seen the film love it and I have to say I found the soundtrack and choreography much better than ‘La La Land’. My favourite song was ‘Never Enough’ just because it was shown so beautifully and I was so enticed by it that I wanted to clap at the end. I found myself relating to the song as well so maybe that’s why too. I also loved ‘The other side’ and ‘This is me’ again because they were such upbeat songs that my friend and I found ourselves bopping along to.
Edit : 12th February 2018 —–
Finally back round to finish off this review! I was away at a Film Festival and Uni has really started to pick up now! The last time I edited this post was on 26th January, and what I really have to say is that since then, I haven’t heard anyone talk about this film? Comparing it to ‘La La Land’, that seemed to drag on for months, however I haven’t heard anything more about this film. I looked into the critic reviews, and IMDB has given it a score of 8/10 whereas, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic have given low ratings of 55% and 48%. On Metacritic, there are more mixed reviews than positive/negative. Critics have stated that its not a film which challenges/pushes boundaries e.g it’s just a feel good film that will carry you along. Others are more annoyed at how it took 7 and a half years in the making and they were expecting something more. Alot of the reviews don’t criticise Hugh Jackman’s performance, they criticise the production in general. The negative comments were things such as “It’s a poor man’s moulin rouge”. Critics were loving the soundtrack but disliking everything else.
In conclusion, personally I enjoyed the film as it puts you in a really happy mood, however I can see where the negativity is coming from, the soundtrack stays in your head for a while but no-one talks about the story/events. I think most of the budget and time went into perfecting the soundtrack/production design and cast! Overall, I would still rate the film 8/10:)
*****I have loads of films lined up to review soon so watch out for those! Also thinking of doing reviews on the films I watched in Rotterdam (Film Festival) which means way more content will be on this blog overtime!:D*****