Strange but not freakish, eyebrow-raising but not bizarre, this original movie musical forces conventionality on a sordid and surreal chapter of American history. Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum, the circus pioneer who here is presented as a family man only looking to provide gainful employment for society’s outcasts. That he gets far more screen time than those outcasts (who are almost always depicted as a group) tells you where The Greatest Showman’s heart is really at. So Freaks this is not, but it’s also not much of a movie musical. The songs are mostly bland, power-pop ballads, while the big production numbers are frantically edited and packed with too many purposes. There is one standout: “Rewrite the Stars,” a duet between Zac Efron, as the circus’ business manager, and Zendaya, as a trapeze artist. The performers are both electric, especially as they employ the ropes and swings of the trapeze itself to evoke the ways society conspires to keep this interracial couple apart. Their story, like much of The Greatest Showman, is thinly conceived and dramatized, but for these few moments none of that matters. They’re almost worth the price of admission into the big top.