About ten minutes into The Greatest Showman I started to contemplate suicide. “If I eat a few boxes of popcorn will I just explode?” I thought as Hugh Jackman sang the opening line of the third song at this still very early stage of the movie.
I was forced to go to this disasterpeice by my girlfriend. There was no consultation period, no back and forth, I was merely informed of her decision to ruin my Wednesday night. Juventus vs Spurs be damned. The implied threat of physical violence should I decline was clearer than the cinema screen showing this absolute wank.
The Greatest Showman starts with a young boy, let’s call him Bollocksjaws, who clearly comes from a poor family. I think he was a tailor’s apprentice or something. We see a shot of his right shoe that has busted open at the sides. EXPOSITION. Bollocksjaws accompanies his Boss or Father (this was not clear) to an enormous estate where he sees a young girl learning to be a young lady by drinking tea properly.
The following five minutes were as predictable as the remaining ninety. The girl from a wealthy background falls in love with the poor boy who steals bread just to stave off death. It’s a shame that the Baker came to work that day. The girls father, a well to do high society gentleman is of course seething! Anyway, within seconds they are all grown up and this high society lady in training is now Mrs. Bollocksjaws…because love.
Love. It’s an interesting theme to explore here. Guess what love gets you? A night wasted watching this abortion of a film. I could have been at home achieving either one of my goals for Wednesday. I wanted to have a nap after work but also wanted to watch Spurs vs Juventus. A normal human being can’t do both but it’s a skill I have developed over many years. Allow me to explain. The match is on TV and I am panned out. I look up if the commentary starts to increase in volume, indicating an important moment. If not I stay in a semi conscious state of pure bliss. I’m neither watching the match nor sleeping, I am everywhere but nowhere. Favour country, a place Hugh Jackman is now banned from.
Bollocksjaws cons a bank manager into lending him $10,000 and with that money he buys a museum of strange artefacts. He’s unique and quirky, did you get it? The business never gets off the ground so his daughter tells him to hire freaks. He hired them all. Short ones, tall ones, hairy ones, scary ones. The whole kit and caboodle. The business pivots and becomes a circus. It begins to thrive and Bollocksjaws gives his family the life he promised. The Bollocks Family move into a huge mansion and all is well with the world, or is it? As I said, it’s a paint by numbers story.
Angry protests begin outside the circus. The townfolk know they are being hoodwinked by this man and demand satisfaction. They often threaten his freaks but never follow through with their promises of violence unfortunately. Bollocksjaws takes his eyes off the prize and begins touring the country with a legitimate act, a singer for the posh theatre crowd. She falls for him and steals a kiss on front of the cameras. His wife leaves him and the business is in trouble yadda yadda yadda.
The protesters eventually start a scuffle with the circus freaks which results in the building being burned to the ground. It was fucking glorious. As the circus crumbled, surrounded in thick black smoke, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I willed that into existence. Unfortunately nobody was inside as the fire blazed. The entire cast of characters had escaped alive. I had been hoping all along that this was a long con. Maybe she brought me to this movie about insufferable pricks knowing I would hate it at first just to set me up for the jubilant scenes at the end where they all die slowly? Alas, they were all fine and back singing again within minutes. Bollocksjaws convinces his wife to come back to him, moves his operation to the docks under a tent, the end.
Here’s the problem with Musicals: It takes two seconds to say ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry’ whereas it takes up to 4 minutes to sing about it. This whole movie could have been wrapped up in 20 minutes if they had used words rather than sing about their every feeling.
The Greatest Showman is the biggest load of shit displayed on the big screen since that scene with the sick Triceratops in Jurassic Park.