Kittens, you may recall that we featured a few on-set posts about this movie and took issue with (or at least expressed some confusion regarding) some of the period costume design choices, which struck us as egregiously ahistorical. Well, the trailer’s dropped and we have something of an answer to our questions.
As you can see, it’s a deliberately stylized and ahistoric period musical in the Moulin Rouge mode. We’re … not sure we’re feeling it. For one, reducing the real P.T. Barnum’s work down to the feel-good and oh-so 2017 “Everyone is special” strikes us as a very precious way of depicting a man who traded in exploiting the physically different and making money off the public’s fear and fascination of them. Not that we’re judging the man by 21st century standards of ethics necessarily; just that the way this film portrays his works looks like an epic whitewash at first glance. We’re not sure everyone in Barnum’s “freaks” shows considered it an affirmation of their unique beauty and value.
Aside from that, the aesthetic and style just isn’t leaping off the screen, given the subject matter and genre:
We wouldn’t really call one of the images depicted “eye-popping.” Shouldn’t that be the goal doing a modern musical on the life of P.T. Barnum? Shouldn’t there be a bit more of a spectacle? A bit more of that Moulin Rouge kind of feel? None of it looks bad, necessarily, but our overwhelming takeaway from this trailer is “Failed to ignite.”
Are we being bitter bitches who need to shut our whore mouths?
“The Greatest Showman” is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. “The Greatest Showman” is directed by exciting new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) and starring Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman. Jackman is joined by Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, Zendaya, Zac Efron and Rebecca Ferguson.
IN THEATERS DECEMBER 25, 2017″
[Image Credit: 20th Century Fox – Stills: Tom and Lorenzo, 20th Century Fox – Video Credit: 20th Century Fox]