Logan in La La Land
It’s Oscar season, which can only mean one thing, a handful of movies that are clearly made to grab the awards. Traditionally, this will means one big musical feature, last year it was La La Land (remember when that didn’t win best film?) and this year it’s The Greatest Showman, so I suppose the reel question is will the film which has been created for Oscar bait be anything more than a real fake?
To make a good film you have to have a strong hook, something to bring the people in. In The Greatest Showman, the concept of having a “hook” is one of the main plotlines, P.T. Burnham is a man whom reach exceeds his grasp (not unlike another big dreamer played by Hugh Jackman in the Victorian period). It is his story we follow from literal rags to riches. P.T. Burnham seems to be for all intense and purposes the man who invented the circus, which started life as a freak show. P.T. Burnham is a visionary and a dreamer, but he isn’t perfect.
The film never has the stamina or depth to explore P.T. Burnham’s dark concepts or where the freaks fit in society, however I have found that not every film has to be the dark, brooding masterpiece which The Dark Knight is, sometimes it’s OK just to enjoy a movie and leave being glad you are alive.
That was P.T. Burnham’s philosophy, he just wanted the people to have a good time and leave better than they entered, and in truth, it’s a challenge not to be caught up in the sheer joy which is The Greatest Showman.
Sure the plot lines aren’t that deep and there is next to no character development but who honestly cares when you’ve got Zach Efron tap dancing on a bar negotiating percentages with Wolverine?
Zach Efron is a man who was born to sing and dance, his enjoyment is obvious when watching The Greatest Showman, it’s as if he’s had it bottled up all this time since High School Musical and now he can only address his passions. It is beautiful to watch a man love his job so much.
La La Land might have been powerful, but with it came a great sadness. The Greatest Showman finds its power in uplifting its audience. That might be the greatest power of all.
I should probably address the songs at some point in time. The Greatest Showman takes a wide variety of genres and blends them together seamlessly. The songs alternate from big cast numbers like “The Greatest Show” which acts as a bookend for the movie, to lower key duets like “Rewrite The Stars”, either way, the soundtrack is outstanding and the tunes will stay with you long after the credits.
I’m sure it will generate a whole host of award nods and praise from both audiences and critics alike, and in truth, I can’t help but agree. The film itself summarizes my feelings best “A celebration of humanity”.