The Centennialight

“The Greatest Showman”

Welcoming You to the Million Dreams of the Greatest Showman

Courtesy of Notes from the Trail

Courtesy of Notes from the Trail

Jaelyn Hawken, Arts and Entertainment

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The newest musical to hit theaters “The Greatest Showman”, starring Hugh Jackman, has gotten some of the best reviews for a musical

Courtesy of CinemaBlend

since the early 70’s. The film has been in the making for the last 7 years. The cast had 10 weeks of rehearsals before they stepped in front of the cameras to officially start the production. The late ‘17 film has quickly made its way to the top four  live action musical film since 1974. The film is ranked just below Chicago, Grease, and Beauty and the Beast, not to mention the film has recently passed up the Oscar winning 2017 film “La La Land” to for yet another box office record.

The film is a musical that stars a commoner named P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his wife Charity, played by Michelle Williams. Barnum’s father worked for Charity’s father and the two characters constantly saw each other growing up. Once Charity grew old enough to leave her home, she leaves with Barnum to start their lives together. Charity’s father was not happy with Charity’s decision to leave home with P.T. and expects him to fail his daughter in the future. So, Barnum knowing this, has promised Charity that he would give her the life she deserved.

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Barnum’s dream was to become the world’s greatest showman. He brings together a number of people who are considered “strange” because of their talents and physical abnormalities. He has them perform in something a biased reviewer calls a “circus”. Barnum adopts the name circus for his show to create history. The show consisted of people such as transgenders, people of color, and some of the well known circus performers like the bearded lady, the shortest man, the conjoined twins, etc. The show grew to be a new and strange success that became famous all around the world. Barnum then hires a new co-owner to his business, Philip, played by Zac Efron. He despised the strange and the unusual people in the world. But, the beautiful trapeze artist of Barnum’s show, Anne Wheeler, played by Zendaya, caught Philip’s eye. This familiar feeling between Anne and Philip, two very different characters, creates a confusing and undying passion between the two.

Anne Wheeler joined the show due to her talents as a wonderful trapeze artist and her only “abnormality” being that she is black. Anne is also accompanied by her brother W.D. Wheeler as her partner when performing.

The film gained the majority of its popularity to its main theme, to change how people see others who are not treated fairly by society due to their appearance. Barnum’s show created a safe place for the normal and abnormal people in the world to come together and make a change for humanity.

Something that I always acknowledge in films are the soundtrack. The Greatest Showman has a beautiful soundtrack that contains a unique sound than what you usually hear in musicals. The songs have more of a popish sound, making the film exciting and bright for the viewers. This includes the opening song to the film “The Greatest Show”, “A Million Dreams”, “Come Alive”, “Never Enough” and one of the highest rated songs in the film “Rewrite the Stars”, sung by Zac Efron and Zendaya. The visuals were spectacular. Also, most of the cast were chosen for not only their acting abilities, but they were acknowledged for their talents that viewers have seen previously in other productions. The film shows the struggle of building an unknown career from scratch and how the good and bad decisions made could affect personal relationship in the future. The story of this great showman shines light on those who are not traditionally accepted in society, and gives them the spotlight to show they are just as independent and strong as everyone else.

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“The Greatest Showman”