The Greatest Showman
"Spectacular, spectacular. No words in the vernacular." -- Moulin Rouge
A song by song reaction:"The Greatest Show"
You had me at the syncopated prancing horses entrance, stage right. Actually, you had me at the behind the bleachers silhouette start off point.
But, those horses! All counterpoint and percussion! This is slick, bold and camera choreographed to the hilt. The visuals along with the aural hit full force and though the film may be called The Greatest Showman
, this song is The Greatest Salesman as it pulls out all the stops, demanding to be acknowledged, "Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over. It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open..." Visceral and as smirnoff has penned here on the boards, "Full of good will." Love the reverse of The Phantom of the Opera
's opening transformation, but instead of a whole series of organ scales, it's accomplished in the span of a downbeat. The space is suddenly quiet and empty, as Barnum surveys what is and what will be."A Million Dreams"
Wee! Child to adult shift through song! I get a chill up my spine when Jackman's voice takes over expressing the dream of his younger self. "Every night I lie in bed, the brightest colors fill my head. A million dreams are keeping me awake." Then Williams joins in... Screeching halt! Williams is beautiful and lovely and sweet, but her character is as interesting as a painting on a wall. More on her later. Back to the song... So happy with the vocals and the dancing! Real honest to goodness, difficult to execute dancing!
(Yeah, I'm talking to you la la land.)"Come Alive"
Nice sister song to "The Greatest Show," and it picks up where "A Million Dreams" leaves off. From "I close my eyes and I can see," to "You're dreaming with your eyes wide open." Putting together the show with people from the fringes becomes the ultimate pep talk. "And we know we can't be go back again to the world that we were living in!""The Other Side"
Ugh. Can't abide this song. It's back to High School Musical
with it's staccato verses then sweepy chorus rhythms and overly complicated execution coupled with a simplified message. "But I live among the swells, and we don't pick up peanut shells." Really? Okay. Hard Pass."Never Enough"
The best and worst an ear worm song can offer. I love it now. I'm going to hate it soon. Oh well, it can't be helped. "This Is Me"
Overheard from a YouTube clip, "After the election night of 2016, the movie subtly shifted. It stared out as a movie about the power of imagination and will and never give up on your dreams, but it grew into a deeper idea that what makes you different, makes you special. The director Gracie also noted that it's an incredible privilege to make a film about inclusivity and acceptance."
This is the song that evolved from the shift of focus in the film and it's everything a showstopper song with a message should be. "I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, this is me.""Rewrite The Stars"
Visually wowing, but the song is nothing special and it feels like filler. Wished for more, but it's serviceable, even if it's like Troy is singing again.Tightrope
I get that using a careful waltz for a song entitled "Tightrope" makes a lot of sense, but man I wish this was a torch song in a big way. Williams' character really needed a "spill your guts" song, but this comes off as a sigh and a weak resignation. Also, the Oxford English Dictionary has 171,476 words in it. Please Benj and Justin, just pick a few of them to fill in the gaps in this song. There is no excuse for lyrics like, Walking a tightrope
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh
As you can see, I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the lyricists' choices. These men have flashes of brilliance and will continue to grow and become even more talented. Looking forward to seeing more of what they can do."From Now On"
My favorite song from the show. A word here about Hugh Jackman. There's been some discussion on this thread about triple threats and Mr. Jackman fits it to a T. He is the greatest showman right now, as far as I'm concerned. He carried this film and elevated the cast and director with his intense work ethic and enthusiasm. This might be a strong statement, but they would be the first to attest to it. This clip is something else! As moving as anything in the film.
Even though it's a little too slick and Barnum the Musical
is probably closer to the real story, this project is a labor of love and I'm going to really enjoy owning it.