Thoughts On: The Greatest Showman - Noble Art?


The Greatest Showman - Noble Art?

Quick Thoughts: The Greatest Showman (2017)

A 'biopic' of P.T Barnum that recounts the birth of showbusiness.

The Greatest Showman mediates between mediocre and bad. It is a film that romanticises the circus and freak shows - which, as Dumbo taught us all when we were kids, is not cool. It does this to formulate a progressive allegory about equality and inclusion. As transparent as the film is in this regard, the juxtaposition of romanticism and progressiveness is... muddled. However, whilst this can be looked past as a silly Hollywood and musical construct, the film has no depth and no cohesive meaning. In such, it simply does not take its themes seriously nor does challenge its characters, yet, it has the pretence to claim that, in making us smile, it is noble. Maybe I could take this seriously if I smiled during the film. The fluff that this is just too ludicrous to find virtue in. It shouts and screams pseudo-progressive and familial statements without showing any understanding of the depth of such concepts, and, in turn, makes a fool of itself.

The technical positives within the film concern the dancing and the direction. These are solid. All else... not so much. The CGI is pretty bad, the anachronistic pop - which is so anonymous and 'pop' that it feels plagiarised - never suites the setting, the lyrics are often horrific, and the characters are all pretty weak. I don't like to be too much of a stick in the mud, but, whilst this isn't hateable, this is not the flashy, charismatic, imperfect but lovable, film that some are saying it is. A failure on almost every basic level, this is not noble art.

Sorry Mum

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Anonymous said...

Calm your tits. It is for entertainment, music eases our pains. The movie is even inspiring, can give motivation to people. Ha you call it horrific? Your post is even more horrific. What a psycho

Daniel Slack said...

Thank you for your concise and thoughtful comment.

I didn't call the movie horrific, just the song lyrics. And whilst I agree that it is meant to entertain, I can't say that I was at all amused. What is more, whilst it can provide people motivation, my point was that the kind of motivation it offers is rather empty and meaningless.