Though written off by critics before release and opening to a soft start, the Hugh Jackman-led musical “The Greatest Showman” was a smash hit with families and musical fans. The movie picked up steam thanks to word of mouth and ultimately raked in nearly $173 million domestically and a further $247.3 million overseas.
The music from the film was a hit, but was the film itself any good? A big divide seemed to come down to the film’s subject matter – namely the use of P.T. Barnum as the main character. Barnum here is armed with Jackman’s charisma, good looks and a commendable attitude for the time period. That’s a far cry from the real Barnum, a man who epitomised the worst kind of pure capitalist – lying, exploitative, abusive, ruthless, self-serving, fuelled by unrestrained greed and destructive on a large scale.
The lack of historical inaccuracy was a major issue not just with critics but with the Honest Trailers guys who’ve posted up their amusing response to the film. The obvious fix for the film would’ve been to center on a Barnum-style original character, though that would’ve made it a harder sell. “The Greatest Showman” is now available on home video.