The Greatest Showman


Posted in Musical Notes, Reel Chat on 03 Feb by

Loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman delivers something truly special to the big screen. Between the choreography, storyline, and music from the composers (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land), it’s no wonder that people are flooding into theaters to see this masterful movie. Here’s why I think you should see it too, even if you’re not a lover of spectacle.


It’s one of those feel good movies.

You can’t help but feel uplifted after watching this movie. I mean, we’re all chasing a dream, right? And we’ve all been told at some point that we’re not good enough; we’ll never be good enough. The Greatest Showman’s biggest strength is that so many of its characters are shunned by society and near-forced to be ashamed of themselves. P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) sees more in the overlooked in the crowd, eventually recruiting “oddities” or “outcasts” to take a chance on him. He wants them to come out of hiding and be revered as the stars they are. Barnum, himself an outcast, has been trying to prove himself worthy of this world since he was a child.

Holding onto his dreams of greatness, Barnum set out to prove he was more than what people thought he was. “This isn’t the life that I promised you,” he confesses to his wife, setting him down the path to making his “greatest showman” dreams a reality. As in real life, Barnum faces untold failures, obstacles, and setbacks along the way, but this only makes the film so relatable. After all, you can’t fulfill your dream if you never have the courage to pursue it, no matter what roadblocks stand in your way.

The “Never Enough” opera scene is the epitome of perfection.

Watching Rebecca Ferguson perform “Never Enough” was a show within itself. The entire theater was speechless. It’s nearly four minutes of jaw-dropping, I-didn’t-know-someone’s-voice-could-be-as-blissfully-breathtaking-as-this awe. Rebecca Ferguson recruited Loren Allred of The Voice to sing, and she couldn’t have made a better choice. The lyrics are also spot-on and advance the plot forward. Though you might find it hard to pay attention to the lyrics when you have chills running through your body.

“All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough
Never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough
Never be enough”

The scene with Zendaya and Zac Efron is so beautiful it might bring tears to your eyes.

Fictional trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and P.T. Barnum’s partner Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) are in love but torn between their respective worlds. Typical cliché, Iknow, but you still want their love to work out. The song “Rewrite the Stars” plays over their forbidden romance and captures some of the finest trapeze work I’ve ever seen. Their performance is simply phenomenal. Honestly, the world just seems so glad to see Zac Efron performing again after distancing himself from his High School Musical days.

“No one can rewrite the stars
How can you say you’ll be mine?
Everything keeps us apart?
And I’m not the one you were meant to find
It’s not up to you
It’s not up to me
When everyone tells us what we can be
How can we rewrite the stars?
Say the world can’t be ours
Tonight”

Keala Settle’s “This Is Me” performance.

First off, this song already won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture, which automatically makes this a stellar reason to go see this movie right now. Trust me, the song as it is much better in the context of the movie. On top of Settle’s amazing singing voice, the choreography and reactions from the crowd at the party bring the whole scene together. It’s here that you feel the pain that the characters have felt and hidden up until now. The feelings of being unwanted, unloved, “different” that we all struggle with are boiled over and what comes of them is a nothing-short-of-perfect performance.

As they reveal themselves to the high-class crowd, you see the disgusted looks reminding them that they don’t belong. Even Barnum, their champion, attempts to shame them. The song is empowering because, in that moment, we witness their revelation. They’re proud to be who they are.  There’s nothing more powerful than standing up and shouting from the mountain tops “This is me!”

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”

This is a well-rounded film for people of all ages and will surely lift up your spirits when you need it. It’s inspirational and a beautifully put together film. From big-name Hollywood actors to that incredible soundtrack topping charts across the world, The Greatest Showman is simply a beautiful film experience. If you’re looking for a new movie to see look no further than this! You have my word that you won’t regret it.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.”

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