The Greatest Showman is a warm and infinitely joyful film perfect for this time of year but, if you're not a musical mega-fan, it can be a bit wearying.
A new number after what feels like every two or three lines of dialogue gets a bit grating at times but, that said, the songs are spectacularly well done.
They play like modern pop tunes which, if you switched up the lyrics and gave them to the likes of Pink or Taylor Swift, could slot right into the airwaves and are brilliantly performed by a stellar ensemble cast, including Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya.
The film's overall pacing also keeps the story from dragging and the songs from dominating as Jackman's dangerously optimistic P T Barnum leads us at full speed toward the next endeavour, unwittingly leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
The film follows Barnum as he sets out to create the world's first circus, starting as a "freak show" attraction and growing into what we know to be the circus today.
Although it's easy to assume Barnum exploited these "freaks", The Greatest Showman warmly points out the positives; how he gave a voice, family and home to people who were shunned by society, brought them together and empowered them as a community, and that's the key to this story.
It is a joyful exploration of family, friendship, love and acceptance complete with song, dance, colourful aesthetics, characters you can root for and some aerial acrobatics. What's not to love?
Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson
A warm, fresh musical perfect for the holiday season
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