Director Michael Gracey
Genre Biography | Drama | Musical
Cast Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Williams
Release Date December 25th, 2017
The directorial debut for Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman is a musical drama highlighting the birth of show business as it is inspired by P.T. Barnum (Barnum & Bailey circus). While everyone may be familiar with Barnum & Bailey, few actually know where it all began. This inspirational story about never giving up stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Michelle Williams.
The Greatest Showman is a true rags to riches story including phenomenal performances sure to have audiences clapping when the curtain drops. It didn't receive the critic praise of last year's La La Land, not even close actually, but this is a musical that has the ability to move viewers and definitely appeals to all ages. What took me by surprise was the unique way the film made viewers feel like they were part of the struggle represented on screen, which made it that much more impactful when things began to improve. Based on a true story, yet clearly exaggerated at times to make it more "Hollywood", P.T. Barnum was a family man with a big American dream, and what's not to love about that?
I feel like the primary underlying message of the film is something we can all practice more of in our lives, and that is accepting people for who they are, and embracing their differences rather than considering them outsiders. P.T. Barnum believed in people, l mean he really believed in them, and he gave a group of people who were considered "freaks" in the eyes of society to the point where they were scared to be seen out in public, a reason to wake up in the morning. Barnum instilled in them the belief that they are amazing just as they are, and he gave them the perfect stage to show people just how special they were, and it is truly amazing to experience the transformation. Barnum struggled with his ego, much like we all do at times, and dealt with his fair of ups and downs, but in the end he was able to achieve a much deeper understanding of what matters most in life. The Greatest Showman was the perfect movie to release during the holiday season and if you don't feel something at some point during the hour and 45 minutes, you may want to check your pulse.
It is obvious from the beginning that the cast for The Greatest Showman is one of its biggest strengths. Lead by Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams, and anchored by Zac Efron and Rebecca Ferguson, this is a cast full of talent. Jackman and Williams develop a genuine chemistry right from the beginning that carries on throughout the film, and that is a big reason why the story unfolds so seamlessly. I really couldn't tell you who actually sings during the performances nor do I care to do the research on that. All I know is the songs are amazing, especially The Greatest Show and This Is Me, both of which I couldn't get out of my head, and that is more than enough for me. I also really loved the entire supporting cast and their contributions to the film, mainly those that played the roles of the performers.
The Greatest Showman was a blast, and this is coming from someone who generally avoids musicals like the plague. I have always had an issue with feeling musicals are just too corny and couldn't hold my attention, but somehow this felt different. From the cast, to the soundtrack, right down to the costume design, The Greatest Showman comes together as an entertaining movie that you will want to experience again, and again, and again. I will be picking this one up on Blu-ray, and I can't wait to see what they include for special features. Try and check this one out before it leaves theaters if possible, and be prepared to have at least one if not two songs stuck in your head for a week or so- you have been warned.