Review by: Jay Andrews-Tracy
The Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen this year. The movie is also a musical, and while I am not a huge fan of musicals normally, I was glad to see this movie and well enjoyed it. The film also is has good positive messages within the movie as well.
The movie is about P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) of Barnum and Bailey Circus well-known fame (P.T. stands for Phineas Taylor), and the origins of “The Greatest Show on Earth”. It is about his life, and the trials and troubles that he had gone through growing up as a kid, and then later trying to make it through the years of his living life.
P.T. Barnum grew up as a poor kid, while his father, Philo Barnum, struggled as a tailor. Philo ruled with an iron fist, wanting his son to make something better out of his life, and be more successful than his beleaguered father. As a young man, Phineas decided to rent out a building with a deed that ended up not existing anymore, and used it as a collateral for the money to get the building he needed to create his dream.
What dream, you ask? He wanted to make a difference in his life, and entertain people. He hired strange and exotic people to perform in a show that he had created. The show wasn’t very popular at first, and he ended up hiring Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) who is loosely based on James Anthony Bailey (of Barnum and Bailey renown), but Phillip Carlyle was a completely fictional character.
P.T. Barnum’s circus became extremely popular after the hardships of trying to get the circus off the ground. He finally was gaining popularity in New York, and people were flocking to see his show from all over the place. He wanted to expand his success to the world, and decided to find another act he could show off. He then met the Swedish singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) who then came to New York to sing for him to get his name out there in the world.
The story did not catch everything that happened in Barnum’s life, which I am not going to mention here. He wasn’t always the nicest person in the world, and the fact that he was a politician too wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the movie. But the film is meant to be uplifting, so the uglier parts are skipped.
The movie captivates on what his life would be like without the extra drama that he had in his actual true story biography. The musical numbers are pretty amazing, however, and with the all star cast, and the excellent directing by Michael Gracey, you couldn’t go wrong. This movie is a block-buster movie, and with a budget of $84,000,000.
The move gross world-wide made $259,516,284 which is decent. When I went to see the movie, I did see kids about 6 years of age, not sure exactly why they went. The movie is not really meant for kids, it does have racy parts in it, along with heavy issues like racism, and is definitely not meant for small children.
I would give the movie a 4/5 and see the movie again. If you have not seen the movie, I would see it in the theater before it leaves – the song and dance of the film is so spectacular, it deserves the entire-theater treatment. It is one of those movies that you should own on DVD and it is a conversation starter. Go see this movie if you have not yet. I do not want to give too much of the movie away!