“The Greatest Showman” Both A Musical and Cinematic Hit
January 12, 2018
This instant musical classic features Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, an American showman who founded the circus, Zac Efron as Phillip Carlyle, Barnum’s eager young protégé, and Zendaya as Anne Wheeler, a trapeze artist in Barnum’s show.
The story follows the story of P.T. Barnum, the creation of the first circus, and the lives of its stars. The Barnum family starts out the movie with next to nothing. Almost immediately Barnum is laid off from his job as a clerk at a shipping company after the company goes bankrupt, forcing him to find an alternative way to bring in money for his family of four. After opening a museum that failed horribly, his two daughters give him the idea to bring some life to a museum full of dead and stuffed animals.
Barnum then sets out to find those who differentiate from the norm, such as a midget man and a woman with a beard. This rag-tag group of performers put on the shows of their lives, finally stepping out of the shadows and into the light.
The songs and choreography are incredibly soulful and intense, most of them being large scale performances involving the whole cast. It is a refreshingly fun change from the stereotypical musical songs that everyone knows, such as” Grease” or “Les Miserables.” “The Greatest Showman” ranges from upbeat, surprisingly meaningful songs such as “This is Me,” which is featured in the trailer for the movie, to beautiful ballads like “Never Enough” or “Rewrite the Stars.”
As well as straying from the status quo of traditional musical songs, this movie features an interracial love story between Zac Efron and Zendaya’s characters, Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler. They explicitly show the racism that people of color faced during the early 1900s. Phillip’s parents see them together and express their distaste for the young woman. Unlike many other period dramas that gloss over the racial tensions of the time, The Greatest Showman embraces it.
With an opening weekend raking in $8.8 million and the soundtrack climbing its way to the number one spot on the Billboard Album Chart, “The Greatest Showman” has made its mark and left full cinemas speechless.