The Greatest Showman

New movie gives musical “origin” to the circus

Cody Bennett, Staff Writer

photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Greatest Showman is based on a true story back in the days of “The Gilded Age.” An age where the American civil war takes place five years after the events of the movie. P.T. Barnum, (Hugh Jackman) a man with a dream and creates the ever so famous, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

The story starts off with Barnum singing and takes us back to his childhood where he meets a young, rich and upper class girl, Charity Hallett, (Michelle Williams). Her very wealthy dad does not approve of Barnum throughout the movie. Barnum’s dad works for the rich man, then soon dies scenes after either of infectious diseases or pneumonia which were the two leading causes of death in the 1860s. Little Barnum then grows up while singing with his future wife through written messages and they suddenly grow up, get married and have twins, all in the same song. He then opens a museum of mysterious things around the world. The business bombs and his daughters inspire him to recruit living things for the museum, people with more interesting qualities. His family goes around the city, posting fliers of anybody with very unique qualities to join the show, thus the circus was born.

Actors in this movie like Phillip, (Zac Efron) could’ve done better. He wasn’t as invested in his character like Jackman, and I didn’t care that he was even there. His only job was taking the ringmaster place from Barnum and having a middle school relationship with one of the circus acts (Zendaya). That’s not the only thing, almost every character outside of Jackman’s family has no backstory or anything interesting about them except for the things that got them into the circus in the first place. But, they all acted fairly well, getting invested into their roles and completing their character throughout the movie.

Michael Gracy, the director of the movie was given a $84 million dollar budget for the movie which he put to work with all of the scenery, the actors and the soundtrack which was written and produced by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. The soundtrack was by far the best thing to come out of this movie. This movie should be praised for its opera and hip-hop dance style from the songs, “Never In Love,” “The Greatest Show,”  “Rewrite the Stars” and “Never Enough.” These are best songs in the soundtrack by far. One song stands out the most, “This is Me” was a nominee for the 2018 Golden Globe Awards and won the Best Original Song, destroying the competition. My family and friends have been playing this soundtrack on repeat never getting tired of it, making you always come back for more.

Overall, this movie had flaws but also getting a lot of things right. The dance moves looked flawless and well practiced. The only problem I have with this great movie is we get 45 minutes of this 1 hour and 45 minute movie, singing and dancing that contributes hardly anything to the plot and just wastes time. Less singing and dancing would’ve been better to develop some of the characters better.

I saw almost everything in this movie, an amazing soundtrack and trailer for the origin of the circus, based on a true story made for a great film. It knocked almost everything out of the park, besides the plot which I was disappointed with. Michael Gracey and his cast did a very good job on their seven year production of this movie and a lot of hard work went into it.

(4 out of 5 stars)