Movies on HBO: “THE GREATEST SHOWMAN”

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HBOWatch Editors were not able0 to line-up a writer to review the stylized musical THE GREATEST SHOWMAN but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to draw your attention to it. Not that we really need to because this one was fairly popular. It received accolades, awards and even had people humming the soundtrack.

It is all about the rise of P. T. Barnum and the diverse cast of humanity he gave a home to when life under the big top was born. It is clearly not a true to life biography of the self-invented impresario as Barnum didn’t give a rat’s ass about his cast of characters. It is a modern twisting of his intents to fit the current tone of embracing diversity. We can give the writers of the movie, Jenny Bicks & Bill Condon, credit for fitting that message into Barnum’s story. Cutting into any plot will be the eleven songs, which includes reprises. We all have seen clips of those songs, truly staged as music videos. How well will they mesh with the story? What can you say, you either give in & accept the movie musical style or you don’t. LA LA LAND tried it and did quite well.

Critics are mixed with THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. Below, of course, is Rotten Tomatoes take on it.

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But, Jackie K Cooper of HuffPost gave the film a score of 10/10 and wrote, “You will be overwhelmed by the music and magic that explode on the screen. The film has a message that should resonate with today’s world concerning acceptance and courage.” David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter stated, “This ersatz portrait of American big-top tent impresario P.T. Barnum is all smoke and mirrors, no substance. It hammers pedestrian themes of family, friendship and inclusivity while neglecting the fundaments of character and story.”

If you love the message & the music and are forgiving of the skewed truth then find THE GREATEST SHOWMAN across HBO’s platforms. It debuted Saturday, September 8 on HBO. As Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times put it, [it shows] “a dispiriting lack of faith in the audience’s intelligence, and a dawning awareness of its own aesthetic hypocrisy. You’ve rarely seen a more straight-laced musical about the joys of letting your freak flag fly.”

But then there is this…

So, is it flawed but effective? You let us know, whether you watched it before this or catch it on HBO.


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