Over the Christmassy period, amongst cute, fuzzy, films like Paddington 2, a new musical was released – The Greatest Showman. This is a film that I feel the urge to restart as soon as the credits roll! I have already booked my second cinema viewing, which has subtitles for a sing-along experience!
With an all-star cast; including Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and Zac Efron, (who I’m pretty sure is the reason that at least half of the audience watched!) The Greatest Showman was set to rock at box-office; already receiving an 8/10 rating from IMDb, and 93% Audience Enjoyment score from Rotten Tomatoes, it has been brilliantly received.
With a beautiful soundtrack written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, fans have already committed the lyrics to memory. The most popular song, ‘This is Me’, sung by newcomer Keala Settle, is currently at Number 8 on the BBC Singles Top 40. This song presents the emotional message that everyone should be proud of who they are, and never hide away. The entire score is achingly beautiful, with each song evoking emotions in the listener. (I have been listening to it on repeat for weeks now!)
The biographical film chronicles the life of P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his creation of Barnum & Bailey’s Circus in America. Barnum gathers the ‘freaks’ of the world, bringing them together in a musical show that quickly becomes a family. There was certainly trouble along the way, as Barnum desperately tries to win the approval of the upper classes, and ends up neglecting both his friends and family. However, at the conclusion, Barnum fixes his ways, and the ‘Greatest Show’ is revived.
Alongside the story of friendship and self-love, some more controversial issues are explored. The relationship between Carlyle Bailey (Zac Efron), and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya), was scorned at the time, due to Wheeler’s poor prospects and African-American heritage. However, the pair ultimately defy the odds, and fall in love – a beautiful message.
A film that sparks laughter, applause and tears from an audience, The Greatest Showman is definitely not one to miss.