T he Greatest Showman has proven once again that musicals are still alive and kicking it. Filled with very energetic choreographies and catchy songs, The Greatest Showman also tells an interesting story revolving around the circus and show business pioneer PT Barnum. The movie director is Michael Gracey and he did quite a good job combining Barnum’s time with modern music. Catchy lyrics that even kids can sing along to and extremely alive and colorful choreographies make the film stand out above others of the same genre. It is worth mentioning that this was Michael Gracey’s debut film and he managed to produce an outstanding film with a golden cast led by none other than Hugh Jackman accompanied by Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and other talented performers.
Once again, Hugh Jackman delights us performing in a musical movie, just like he did in Les Misérables. This time he performs as PT Barnum, a struggling orphan boy who is deeply in love with Charity, graciously performed by Michelle Williams. Their love goes against her father’s wishes but nonetheless she goes with him to start their family in New York. Barnum struggles to give her wife and two daughters a better life than the one he had and becomes an entrepreneur. He decides to host a show where all kinds of unique and talented people performed: trapeze artists, a small man with a huge spirit performed by Sam Humphrey, and the unique Bearded Lady magnificently portrayed by Keala Settle.
PT Barnum’s show starts to gain momentum as well as critics and haters but Barnum sees this as free publicity. At a party he meets Philip Carlyle, portrayed by Zac Efron, a man who has his life figured out but feels empty on the inside. Barnum perceives the hollow space inside Phillip and invites him to join him in his circus adventure and finally taste freedom. He gladly accepts the offer and in the way, falls in love with trapeze artist Anne Wheeler, played by Zendaya. Their love is not an easy one because Phillip comes from a wealthy and conservative family, Zendaya on the other hand, is dark skinned and has been a trapeze artist all of her life. A very similar story to the one lived by Barnum and Charity when they were young: unapproved by the parents but inevitable.
Barnum was rising up like foam and on the way up he meets The Sweedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind. This legendary opera singer is portrayed by Swedish actress Rebeca Ferguson and when she and Barnum joined forces, their show became incredible popular in America, where she was received as a star mainly thanks to Barnum advertising skills and popularity. Barnum lost his way amidst all the expensive champagne and classy parties, even rejecting those who helped him to reach the top.
The music is wonderful throughout the entire movie but some scenes are just amazing such as the one where Hugh Jackman tries to convince Zac Efron to join him in his circus. The unique circus performers also delight the audience with a song led by The Bearded Lady and a superb choreography. Alongside the magnificent music, we get to enjoy a very entertaining story about perseverance, entrepreneurship, diversity and the beauty of a great show and pure entertainment. Barnum is portrayed as an ambitious man who lost his way more than once but he also shows respect and admiration for his circus performers and realizes that he would not had reached so high up in the show business without them.