We went to see The Greatest Showman, a film that we would have said is not one that we would normally have chosen, but friends had enjoyed it and with not much else exciting us we gave it a try!
The film follows P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his huge rise to success and the highs and lows of that, in this musical from director Michael Gracey.
The film opens with a rousing musical number which shows Barnum as a successful ringmaster but pulls back to show this is the young Barnum dreaming. As a young boy, he is the son of a tailor. It’s made clear that he and his father are not rich, but do work for the wealthy.
One of these customers has a daughter Charity, who he has a bond with, a montage then follows, showing the 2 growing up, to the day they meet again, where we find they are now married with 2 children.
Barnum then loses his job at the shipping company, but inspired by a birthday present he made for his daughter and the support from Charity (Michelle Williams) and a bit of telling porkies to the bank, he gets a loan to build a wax museum.
The museum, however, proves to be a failure, but he increases custom by in effect bringing the wax models alive by employing those considered to be freaks, bearded ladies, those of varying sizes, dog boy etc. This turns his luck completely around and with money coming in, he still wants more. Although it is not without issues as many believe these ‘freaks’ should be locked up and regular protest the show.
Barnum, with a hit on his hands but not critical acclaim from the press, aims for the wealthier customers and brings in gifted playwright Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) who even arranges Barnum and his troop to visit the Queen.
On this visit, Barnum meets Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) a talented Swedish singer, who agrees to put on shows in America. This brings more success and yet Barnum still wants more and takes Lind on a high-risk world tour.
In his manager role on the tour, it takes him away from his family, which we see the strains that this causes, more from Charity and her children, Barnum is, of course, loving the success, especially as he is now getting praise from the critics stroking his ego more.
As for the show and those that made him the success in the first place, takings are down and those less accepting of the ‘freaks’ are causing even mayhem and vandalism. Phillip is doing the best to keep it all together, whilst dealing with the fact that he has fallen for trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) which has infuriated his family, who disown him, considering this girl lower class.
When issues arise on the world tour, Barnum returns but will he have a family and show to perform?
This film was a spectacle, a real feel-good crowd pleaser, the hate and prejudice on the poor and unusual are dealt with through catchy songs, one of which is up for the best song at the Oscars! Talks are already in place for the film to transfer to Broadway as it has already experienced success with sing-along screenings!
We absolutely loved this film, we’ll definitely be looking to purchase the soundtrack and adding the film to our collection
You can buy the soundtrack here
Pre-order the film here:
Watch the trailer here: