This Really is the Greatest Show

KEIRA BARRY / Associate Editor

“Ladies and Gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for.” Lights. Music. Action. So begins 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman, a box-office hit that, since its premiere on December 8, 2017, has generated $345.4 million and captivated the hearts of viewers across the nation.

Of course, the first thing people will want to rave about in Greatest Showman is the soundtrack, and justifiably so– the soundtrack is incredible. From the can’t-give-up attitude of “A Million Dreams,” to the heart-wrenching “Rewrite the Stars,” and from the unapologetic anthem that is “This is Me,” to the flashy show tune “This is the Greatest Show,” every song in this movie is a masterpiece in its own right.

In addition, The Greatest Showman featured several dance numbers, which were well-choreographed and well-executed. They’re flashy, they’re captivating, and they make you want to stand up and dance in the middle of the theater.

The cast is easily as incredible as the music. Headlined by names like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, and Rebecca Ferguson, its star-studded cast is enough of a reason to go see it, even if musicals aren’t usually your thing.

But just as the circus has problems and cracks behind the scenes, Greatest Showman could have been better. I would have liked it to be longer. The film felt rushed, and both the plot and characters developed too fast for my liking. With a little more time, the movie could’ve easily shown us a little more of the rising action rather than speeding from introduction to climax.

Even if it was a little fast, the storyline was quite moving. Seriously, it’s been a long time since a film moved me to tears. Greatest Showman’s messages about accepting others, being yourself, and choosing your own destiny are powerful and unmissable (even better that it’s based on the true story of P.T. Barnum’s circus).

Additionally, the film relies heavily on CGI. I understand Hollywood is struggling, and that budget and safety could pose issues, but could they not have used a real circus?

Overall, even if musicals aren’t really your thing, this one is different. It can join the ranks of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen as far as I’m concerned. Whether the audience is a performer or a spectator, born into wealth or born into hard work, an outcast or a social butterfly, Greatest Showman speaks to that one person we all are: a dreamer.

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