The Greatest Showman Review
Genre: Drama, Musical
Director: Michael Gracey
Starring: Hugh Jackman
Co-starring: Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2017
“The Greatest Showman” features Hugh Jackman as, infamously known American businessman and showman, P.T. Barnum. The movie displays a fictional story of a man who was brought up penniless in the streets and who fell in love with a wealthy man’s daughter, played by Michelle Williams. They write back and forth for years until the day that he asked for her hand in marriage. The two run off into the city but after two daughters, life is not how Barnum was hoping it would end up. He then combines his inspiration and imagination by buying an old, wax museum, turning into a gathering for people of all oddities, extremities, and features. Giant men, bearded ladies, colored trapeze artists, and more join P.T. Barnum’s circus as they put on their shows that fascinate and bewilder the public.
However, the circus quickly corrupted P.T. Barnum as his focus shifted off creating better lives for his family to seeking fame and fortune. His greed leads him to bringing Britain’s most renowned singer Jenny Lind, played by Rebecca Ferguson, back to America to tour with him, shutting out his circus of outcasts in the face of better opportunities.
During the tour, Lind and Barnum’s relationship ends poorly, almost ending the relationship with his wife as well. Since his leaving, a growth of mobs had terrorized the circus and as Barnum returns, his building is set aflame with many of his people barely escaping. After nearly losing his family and his circus, he decides to rebuild and recreate the glory of when he started and his only hope was helping his family and making others happy. The story concludes with Barnum giving his circus what they deserve and handing the show off to his partner Phillip Carlyle, played by Zac Efron, so he may return to his family.
What parents need to know:
The Greatest Showman is a movie suitable for all ages and provides many relatable aspects and important lessons. One of the biggest lessons to take away is to be yourself; that it is okay to be different and it should be celebrated. This is taught by Barnum bringing together outcasts, shamed into hiding themselves from the public; he taught them to step into the light for who they were and the movie featured a song sung by the circus titled, “This Is Me.” Another major lesson the movie portrayed is how easily one can become focused on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. In the movie, Barnum is easily attracted by fame and fortune, taking his eyes off of the truly important thing in his life: his family. It proves this lesson after Barnum’s life nearly crumbles to the ground from his greed, but also shows that wrongs can be made right. It is a story of drama, love, family, acceptance, and most importantly, a “celebration of humanity” than any person can learn from and enjoy. “This was a pretty clean movie that our whole family was able to enjoy together. It really opens up the conversation with kids about treating people as people and not mistreating someone simply bc of what they look like,” Becky G., a parent reviewer on “Common Sense Media”, wrote.