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The Greatest Showman Review (2017) | Celebrating Show Business

The Greatest Showman is a musical feat. A movie that celebrates exactly what its name suggests – the life of P. T. Barnum slapped on a grandeur of musical awesomeness. If you are averse to contemporary music it might bother you a little bit, probably because the movie uses it everywhere. It’s built on hope which often separates the reality away giving you a rather vague insight into the life of Barnum that apparently had much more going. But if life were all about looking up, The Greatest Showman stands out hands down.

The Greatest Showman is quite entertaining and it will actually make you feel good when you come out of the theatre. There is more to it than it just being about a dreamer who took a bold and different route to success. The pioneer of showbusiness P. T. Barnum helped one see past their insecurities and turned it into something celebratory. It is a feat that’s great per se. The movie frolicks around on highs and lows to show us there’s no stopping someone who is convinced of his idea of success. Very satisfying!

The noblest art is that of making others happy.

The flick is brimming with energy. You can’t help yourself sway whenever a beat drops. When you talk about its choreography, it’s brilliantly done too, everything gorgeously arrayed that puts you right up there beaming you up with exhilaration.

The Greatest Showman Theme

The storyline is basically a biopic that tries to place Barnum in 1 hour and 45 minutes of screentime. It showcases him coming from nothing, becoming something and then struggling to hold on to it. There are ups and downs that often leave him ecstatic and shattered. It glances into his life often trying to skim how he had become a puppet to societal stratification. But the joyful thing to mark is that he smiles through it all.

The Greatest Showman Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman plays Barnum impeccably making him this powerful hopeful being who inspires everybody to come out of the closet and overcome personal deficiencies turning them into their strength. Even though one could debate about his motive not being entirely generous, Barnum saw something that people failed to see. He somehow managed to turn it into a profession breaking barriers of human capabilities.

No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.

Here’s a list of all the songs from The Greatest Showman:

  1. The Greatest Show
  2. The Other Side
  3. A Million Dreams
  4. Never Enough
  5. Tightrope
  6. This is Me
  7. From Now On
  8. Come Alive
  9. Rewrite the Stars

You can order The Greatest Showman OST from here:

Hugh Jackman does justice to the legend and shines in the spotlight. Even though his Barnum feels too hopeful to be taken seriously, he fares great for a musical. His acting remains top-notch nevertheless.

Hyperbole isn’t the worst crime. Men suffer more from imagining too little than too much.

The screenplay of the flick is brilliant. There are plenty of great lines in it that will compel you to marvel at its beautiful play of words.

Downsides

If you take a look at the downsides of The Greatest Showman, there were plenty. To begin with, the flick felt fabricated on a contemporary musical style, which is something that takes your attention away from its lyrical juices. You can’t help but wish a piano or a violin to play when the mood is glum, but that rarely happens. There’s no way you could put it up against the likes of La La Land. It doesn’t tear you apart. Emotions in it don’t leave you hollow.

Another one of those things that nagged a little bit was the content of the circus. There’s no way the audience came just to watch the crew perform on songs. Songs felt more like fillers as if Michael Gracey the director couldn’t think of a better alternative to it. I don’t know like a humorous play or dramatic theatricalization could have at least filled it with some substance. It’s not the only thing you come to see in a circus.

They are laughing anyway, kid, so you might as well get paid.

There were a lot of things that were a little hard to digest too. But the movie shines out despite its issues.

You can order the movie from here:

The Final Verdict

The Greatest Showman entertains you thus accomplishing what it was trying to. It isn’t emotionally spell-binding but it still is something when you try to sieve through the entertainment department. It’s grand and extravagant. The detailing, the costume are all painstakingly created and you can tell that by the way, it impresses you.

The story The Greatest Showman tells is pretty good. It fills you up with hope, that you too have a chance to do something out of the ordinary and maybe inspire others from your action. That world is a crooked place but you have to make the most of it. There are countless messages to take from the flick.

Although a musical might not do a person justice, it sure as hell tells a story that puts a smile on your face.

Beauty and the Beast Review (2017) | An Exhilarating Musical to Revive the Age Old Fairy Tale

How many times have we seen this gargantuan heartfelt epic romance take shape? Every era has its own version of Beauty and the Beast, a fairy tale that had once originated in the beautiful mind of Gabrielle -Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Over the years we saw its retelling, we saw it getting hammered in the form of TV series, animated movies and what not. The fairy tale would never fail to surprise as long as there is that tinge of magic in it to support it, thoughtful verses that send us brooding and music that aggrandizes prospering love. Fortunately Bill Condon‘s Beauty and the Beast movie retains all these elements.

Theme and Cast of Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is a theatrical feat that gambols along with its extraordinary music. Yes, it’s a musical and I think only an alluring musical could do a gorgeous fairy tale like that justice. On one side of the ring we have the gorgeous beauty Belle, who Emma Watson wears quite beautifully making it her very own persona. On the other side of the ring is none other than the cursed Beast, who by the way is a softie trapped in a monstrous body played by Dan Stevens. He could have really used a little less CGI, or a better one, now that we have already boldly ventured into that territory.

still of luke evans as gaston in beauty and the beast

Not to forget the very handsome Luke Evans who is as perfect, confident and rad with his dialogues, er, songs as he looks in reality. Casting for Gaston happened perfectly there. We have LeFou done by Josh Gad who is one of the most entertaining dimwits in the movie. He alleviates perversion with his outlook.

Voices of Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere were done beautifully by the likes of Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Ewan McGregor. Stanley Tucci hid under the veil of Maestro Cadenza pretty good.

Mocking Society

While this might have been like an umpteenth adaptation, I liked Beauty and the Beast for its hard-hitting veracity. The fact that it stuck to reflect things as they are or are supposed to be in real life, is something that connected with me the most. It is a satire on human perception, of how things work around a town that scoffs at a person who thinks differently. It is a parable that reflects how mob works, that how easy it is to egg them with a cunning spark.

The opening scene that showcases Belle’s obsession with the books, and how everyone in town sees education as a curse goes on to mock ignorant societal elements who want to churn the world their way. While at one end Belle is ahead of her time clearly seeing through it all, the insular mob in her little village wants her to follow its footsteps. People don’t like different and that’s what they hate about Belle.

Your library makes our small corner of the world feel big.

Whilst Belle is busy trying to find a world that isn’t as insolent as the one she is living in, she seems to have come to terms with it, and found the perfect abode in her books. She is thriving in a world that doesn’t get her. I guess a lot of us can relate to her in that aspect.

Materialistic Judgments

It takes our protagonist a curse to make him realize that materialism wanes. That whatever we judge based on the way it looks or appears is a curse per se because beauty is always hidden.

He fell into despair and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast?

Gaston, au contraire, is braided just the opposite. He is an irritable narcissist who can’t see beyond the material world that engulfs him. Him talking to the mirror carving a living satire with remarks like,

No one deserves you, but at least your children will be beautiful.

Goes on to show how he is full of it. He is a paragon of beauty and strength, which are things that the world is quick to judge you by.  They think exactly what he thinks of him, and fail to see what’s underneath his veil.

still of Belle and Beast in Beauty and the Beast

That salient materialism is in the punitive action of the beast too. When he punishes Maurice, Belle’s father, for life, for merely picking a flower.

He means forever. Apparently that’s what happens around here if you pick a flower.

People are so full of it that they are quick to deliver judgments. There is hatred in the heart of the beast and hatred is one of the primal causes of things that affect one’s judgment. He has punished a man with a life sentence for just picking a flower! His world’s no different from the one that we live in. The flower was dear to him, and that was it – Reason enough for him to punish and have his revenge.

You can’t judge people by who their father is, can you?

In a way the movie elicits a satire out of human perception, emotions and judgments.

Love Takes Time

People don’t fall in love in a moment. That too when there’s a ghastly creature involved; You can’t fall in love with him in a snap of a finger. You have to be around, spend ample time around someone that looks different to truly understand him, to even venture that lane.

She had seen that there was no love in his heart.

Overlooking everything takes time, and that’s what the movie sells. Belle spends ample time with the Beast enough to understand him, to accept him despite that apparent skewed image of his. Love was gradual and it was very much relatable unlike some Hollywood muck we come across every once in a while.

Then it teaches us how clingy never works with people. If we truly love someone we have to give them space. That’s what Beast does when he lets Belle return to her village. He couldn’t have possibly asked her to stay, and wished to earn her trust.

Can anybody be happy if they aren’t free?

You can order Beauty and the Beast movie here:

Issues with the Movie

If you are thinking, by now, the movie was outright impeccable, I would have to sadly add: No. There were plenty of drawbacks in Beauty and the Beast. The first and foremost being the fact that you could feel the contrivance knocking at the big screen at every juncture. Emotions were often absent. Behind that awful CGI you couldn’t see Dan Stevens reacting the way he should have. Despite how committed Emma Watson appeared in her role, Dan felt quite the opposite. He didn’t quite fit the bill, and would often get carried away with animation.

image of lumiere and cogsworth in beauty and the beast

Their chemistry wasn’t quite right either. Didn’t evoke a keen sense of longing when they weren’t together, didn’t draw out emotions when there timing was right. Everything seemed placed awkwardly like marionettes. With Lumiere taking most of the screen time , and some zany bits loosely hanging around in every scene, the movie takes away its requisite seriousness.

You must forgive first impressions.

Climax has been bluntly filled with a tasteless flavour. It rushes in eventually as if all we wanted to see was the revived cast heading into another ball. Questionable editing there! People who like to have proper focus in their movies, it’s clearly not for them.

Then you can’t really overlook how the movie doesn’t project the enchantress properly as well. She walks in at a time when she was needed as if she was supposed to be there. No character build up, nothing. She was a mere needle in the haystack.

The Final Verdict

People who are averse to musicals might not enjoy all that singing. But those who love musicals are going to love this beautiful flick. Pay attention to what the characters have to say through apparent metaphors, and you might even enjoy the musical more than anything.

Different timbres and tempo and the deafening music in the flick is something that makes the movie an enjoyable hoot. It is as loud as it is supposed to be. We can’t thank the composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman enough for that.

Gaston stands out, hands down, as one of the finest antagonists, and something that you might remember the movie by. As far as feelings and emotions were concerned the movie failed to induce that.

You can check out the trailer of the flick here:

Mr. Holmes Review (2015)

Mr. Holmes is a beautiful take on a shrivelling Holmes and his loneliness.

Ian McKellen dons an oldie Sherlock and he does it with a brilliant grace and like a pro. He handles Holmes like an expert, and portrays him superbly in his old age.

Screenplay of the movie is simply outstanding, well-written and executed superbly by the characters. Direction is marvelous too since it was one Herculean task to narrate three different stories that unfurled at three different timelines. Bill Condon isn’t reckless in navigating to Holmes’ past and does it at apt moments, like using a dream, story-telling or taking writing as props. The score is very soothing and well placed too. The moment flick starts the background music captures your attention at once. The melody simply melts you.

Everything on this planet ages. Sherlock was no exception. Mitch Cullin’s story that exemplifies the sorry fate of ageing with hints of forgetting names, facts, faces and stories, is a gorgeous unravelling of the last case Sherlock ever did that wasn’t exactly the way it was penned by Watson. The tale is written in a world without his enemies. This world is void of Mycroft and Watson too. So it is highly advisable to eschew making comparisons. Just feel the timeline and feel for him.

If you are a drama freak, watch out for that brilliant conversation between Ann and Holmes about loneliness. There are amazing lines strewn all across the movie that will rivet you to the tale. The flick doesn’t forget its roots. Occasional deductions do come up and they light you up in nostalgia.

Beware! If you are hoping you will see some mind blowing cases, just stop right there! This movie wasn’t intended to satiate your suspenseful head. It should go into the library of the classics as a brilliant drama that portrays one particular profound timeline of Holmes, where he gets to understand the importance of bending facts and experience the chasm of regret.

Recommended for dramaholics.