The Greatest Showman Review: 9/10
This is my Greatest Showman review:
A few weeks ago, I went to see The Greatest Showman. I had high hopes for it, and I was not disappointed. A light-hearted musical, The Greatest Showman is about P.T. Barnum, who founded the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The movie starts in his childhood, and sets up a romance between Barnum and his future wife. He is portrayed as a idealistic dreamer, who wants more than the life he was handed. He and his wife have 2 daughters, and it is because of them that he has his idea for a show- a show for the people who the world has deemed unfit for civilized society. Among his cast are the bearded lady, an Irish giant, trapeze artists, and a tiny Tom Thumb military man. Along the way he joins forces with Phillip Carlyle, (a created character based on Bailey) a playwright who helps bring life to the show. Filled with drama, comedy, romance, and lots of singing and dancing, this movie brings to life the glamorous tale of an unlikely group brought together by one man with a dream.
(Photo via 20th Century Fox)
The music in this movie is truly breathtaking. The cast includes a number of Broadway voices, Disney stars Zac Efron and Zendaya, and Hugh Jackman (whose singing has vastly improved since the days of Les Miserables), so the singing is phenomenal as well. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack almost non stop. The choreography and dancing were extraordinary- there’s a particular scene on a rooftop that left me holding my breath at the delicate moves.
The movie does glamorize P.T. Barnum, as he was kind of a scam artist and scoundrel in real life. They took some liberties with his character and made him more of a loveable dreamer who was handed some bad breaks in life, but created something truly beautiful in the end. The subtraction of the character of Bailey in the movie was an interesting decision to make, but there is no mention of him at all in the movie, so you would only notice if you knew about him already.
One of the movie’s conflicts deals with the inherent racism at the time of the movie. Zac Efron’s character and Zendaya’s character have a romantic plot, and her skin color is not something the movie shies away from. But a major theme of the movie is acceptance, of all people, not just those of different races.
The Greatest Showman is a family friendly movie, filled with spectacular dancing and songs, and dealing with issues that still apply today. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who loves the circus.
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