'The Greatest Showman;' A Review And Reminder Of The Greatness Within Each Of Us
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'The Greatest Showman;' A Review And Reminder Of The Greatness Within Each Of Us

The Tale of P.T Barnum Taken in a Musical Swarm of Acceptance and Joy

'The Greatest Showman;' A Review And Reminder Of The Greatness Within Each Of Us
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"To anyone who is bursting with a dream, to anyone who is searching for a way to break free"

"The Greatest Showman," directed by Michael Gracey is too good to be contained. Telling the story of circus connoisseur P.T Barnum, "The Greatest Showman," starring Hugh Jackman as Barnum, masters the art of uplifting an audience with music and humanity. This movie will remain my favorite film of 2017 for many reasons.

First and foremost, if you are not a musical lover, do not see the show. Past criticisms of musical/movies such as "Les Miserables," also starring Jackman, and "Into the Woods," fail to capture the essence of the film, but focus rather on the constant singing. Well, all I can say about that is that there are those, myself included, who can appreciate the vast meaning of song rather than just plain old dialogue. They do say a picture is worth a thousand words, I say a song is worth a million.

There are no complaints that these songs are worth just that, if not more. Each song managed to threaten tears after expressing the heart-wrenching realities and struggles these unique characters go through in the film. It was very easy to relate to the sentiment of not fitting in and being an outcast. The songs are also catchy, and dying to be sung passionately and off-key in the shower.

While the film is surrounded by the fantastic, the characters and the issues they face are very real in the hearts of those today, and what is more relatable or envied than a star-crossed love story? Nothing, well in film at least. The connection between the two characters portrayed by Zach Efron and Zendaya have captured the hearts of its viewers.

Forbidden by the fear of difference, they are estranged because of the color of their skin. A lesson that is well deserved to be taught in the media today. This immense connection is applauded, which I do admit was speculated before the film release on account of their age difference of almost a decade. Yet I think the real question we are asking ourselves is whether or not High School Musical star, Zach Efron, sang his amazing duets with or without the help of Drew Seeley, will we ever know?

Regardless of the fantastic acting and scripting, the crew of "The Greatest Showman" managed to captivate audiences through the bright and creative world that P.T Barnum had always dreamed of. With glittering costumes and perfect mise-en-scene, you are transported into a different and colorful dream, possibly much like your very own.

The only thing this movie lacks is accuracy. While it is inspired by the lively three-ring traveling circus invented by P.T. Barnum, a lot of the meaningful parts of the film are inspiration only. Zach Efron's character, Philip Carlyle is fictional, along with the romantic relationship between his and Zendaya's character. Another shocking fact; at the time of the film, when Barnum created his circus, he was 60 years old, unlike Hugh Jackman who seems to be in his prime, regardless of his stellar and long career in film and performing.

Yet perhaps the most alarming reality of Barnum's story is that he may not have been the champion of acceptance "The Greatest Showman" has you believe. Many saw his profit from showcasing people with abnormalities and disabilities on public display as being exploitation.

While Barnum supported anti-slavery sentiments, his actions as a showman proved otherwise. For example, Barnum is believed to have gotten his start as a showman in 1835 when he purchased and exhibited an elderly enslaved woman named Joice Heth, who was blind and almost entirely paralyzed. He claimed that Heth was 161 (in fact 80) years old and had been George Washington's nurse. Heth died the following year.

The facts are saddening. No, the inspiring accomplishments of a young dreamer, bred different than those of his time, did not entirely happen as we hope. However, the film "The Greatest Showman" is so much more than facts and pictures of reality vs fantasy. It brings true dreams alive.

In a time where creativity is drifting and life is beginning to rely on technological entertainment, it is important to be taken to a childhood sentiment where anything is possible. This movie does that, and much more. I strongly encourage anyone who may feel different, anyone who has a dream they have been too afraid or discouraged to achieve, or anyone who has a song inside of them worth singing, to go see "The Greatest Showman." It is truly, simply, and fantastically great.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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