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The Greatest Showman: the film that leaves people singing

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No matter how different you were, no matter how odd people made you out to be; Barnum saw something in you. Phineas Taylor Barnum was the founder of the “Barnum & Bailey Circus” that ran from 1919-2017.

 

On December 20, 2017 a movie titled “The Greatest Showman” was released in theaters and grossed over $290 million. “The Greatest Showman” tells the story of PT Barnum and how his circus came to be

 

The hollywood film stars multiple popular actors and actresses including; Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams and Rebecca Ferguson. These actors and a large ensemble set the stage for one of the most magical and historical stories of all time.

The start of the film is quite dramatic, but in a really unique and powerful way. All you see is the outline of a man (Jackman) in a bright red coat and tall black hat, stomping to the beat of “The Greatest Show,” one of the many musical numbers in this movie. The musical number is full of bright colors, strong ensemble, and incredible dancing. It’s essentially the Barnum & Bailey Circus. But then, the lights fade and we see the circus showman is truly a little boy, in dirty and ripped clothing staring at a showman’s coat. This film really highlights that no matter where or what you come from, you create your own destiny.

The performing in this show is nothing short of spectacular. Jackman provides a powerful performance as PT Barnum, not only in the acting but also in vocals. For people who saw the movie “Les Miserables” back in 2012, know that Jackman is quite the singer. Which also proves to be true in this film. Efron plays the role of Phillip Carlyle, a playwright from a wealthy family, who eventually becomes Barnum’s partner. Efron also delivers a power performance, singing in multiple musical numbers. Efron and Jackman perform the duet, “The Other Side” which is the first song we hear Efron sing in. The duet between the two men is not only dynamic but also quite catchy. Then of course we have Zendaya, who plays the role of Anne Wheeler who is an acrobat/trapeze artist. Zendaya really brings the character to life, she is performing in huge musical numbers and is flying (and falling) all over the place. Her duet with Efron, “Rewrite the Stars” is not only beautiful but both actors provide very strong vocal performances. The chemistry between the two performers is strong, which helps the audience feel them begin to fall in love with one another. One of the most power songs of the film is sung by Broadway star, Keala Settle, called “This is Me.” This song really highlights that no matter how different one may be, nothing can stop them from reaching their dreams. Settle’s vocal performance is crazy good, she has such power and range that can really move a crowd. The song is so amazing that it just won a Golden Globe for “Best Original Song.” Rebecca Ferguson plays the role of Jenny Lind, the famous opera singer from Europe, who eventually teams up with Barnum to perform in the United States. Ferguson’s character starts quite a ripple in Barnum’s marriage. I won’t go into more details than that, for there are no crazy spoilers in this review…

 

WATCH OUT CRAZY SPOILERS AHEAD (okay so I lied)

 

Many people enjoyed this film, from the colors and the explosive dancing; people felt very entertained and thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Others didn’t like the different messages and how lightly they were touched.

 

For those who haven’t seen this movie, it touches on a lot of different “themes.” From issues with race, feeling or looking different, family struggles, business hardships, and even how fame can warp a person’s personality. All of those themes were touched on in this film and “touched” is used because they didn’t really delve into those themes to where the audience could have a complete understanding or see a real emotional response. Whenever the climax of the theme was beginning to rise, the characters would break out into song (which is never a bad thing) but in this film, the song didn’t really tackle the issues in a deep way either. Everyone has their own views and thoughts of course in regards to this, it really depends on how deep you are diving into the movie.

Performance wise, I think the cast did a fantastic job. Strong vocals the whole way through, catchy and well written musical numbers, explosive dancing and beautiful colors with set and costumes. Jackman played his role extremely well, as did Efron and Zendaya. Michelle Williams, who plays Barnum’s wife, Charity Barnum did a fantastic job of making the audience really sympathize and understand the emotions her character went through, especially when finding out that Barnum had cheated on her. This movie had a very dominant cast and that really showed in the film.

 

The ending of “The Greatest Showman” is heartwarming and also sad at the same time. Jackman passes the showman hat onto Efron symbolizing that his time as showman is complete and now the next showman, in this case Efron, will continue the legacy, and so on and so forth. This film is definitely a must see, the story is spectacular, the cast is fantastic, and it’s just something you don’t want to miss. Hopefully after seeing this film you will remember to never give up on your dreams, no matter how big or how crazy they are.

 

“No one ever made a difference being like everybody else” -PT Barnum  

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The Greatest Showman: the film that leaves people singing