‘The Greatest Showman’ is the Greatest Show, Man

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN IS THE GREATEST SHOW, MAN-- The Greatest Showman is showing in theaters now

"The Greatest Showman" soundtrack image

“THE GREATEST SHOWMAN” IS THE GREATEST SHOW, MAN– “The Greatest Showman” is showing in theaters now

Madi Blackburn, Staff Writer

While some movie critics focus on the technicalities of a movie, most people go to the movies to escape reality. This weekend, I did just that and saw “The Greatest Showman” in theaters.

The movie starts out with an energetic, rhythmic musical number that shows P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) performing in his top hat with the circus. As the song fades out, the story flashes back to Barnum’s childhood where his life of poverty is shown. As a tailor’s son, he visits the houses of the elite where he meets the girl he loves. In an instant, Barnum is shown married to his childhood sweetheart with two kids, trying to provide for his family. When he is fired from his tedious desk job, he is forced to to think outside the box to support his family. He begins to hire people shunned by society in order to put on a show like people have never seen. This is met by both opposition and delight, and throughout the story, the characters are shown alternately struggling and triumphing over the challenges presented by society. A band of people that were rejected, including a bearded lady, a giant, and an extremely short man, come to find confidence in who they are and the home they have found in this newly founded circus.

The reviews over “The Greatest Showman” are varied, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a score of 53 percent. Many reviews consist of criticism over the lack of historical accuracy, especially concerning the character of P.T. Barnum. However, other reviews also comment on the standout music and the uplifting themes.

As for my opinion, I found this movie to be a magical, uplifting story of acceptance and hope. Every song was incredible, and I often found myself with chill-bumps down my arms. I did not go into the movie knowing the background information, but I loved it for what it was: a movie-musical that delivered both in terms of music and in storyline. It transported me to another time, and I was entranced by the pure magic and energy that the film expressed. For me, it was a story about people that were rejected by society but were able to belong to something and be accepted for who they are. In the film, there was a critic of Barnum’s that said something that I feel embodies the purpose of the movie. The man called Barnum’s show a “celebration of humanity,” and that is what I took away from this movie. It was more than the cast and the music that drew me in and stayed with me long after it ended; it was a story about how people can come together and let the diversity of humanity be a cause of celebration rather than division.

Overall, if you are someone that loves energy- filled musicals, films with optimistic themes, or historically-inspired movies, the Central Digest recommends “The Greatest Showman.”