The Jacket Journal

The Greatest Show On Earth

The incredible movie The Greatest Showman tells the story of a man coming from nothing and creating a sensational new idea. 

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P.T. Barnum takes on Show Business.

P.T. Barnum takes on Show Business.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

P.T. Barnum takes on Show Business.

Anemone Rishel, Staff Reporter

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Arguably the best movie of 2017 in my opinion, The Greatest Showman tells an incredible story of love, loss, and perseverance. It showed me that if I just keep tying I can achieve anything even when the world is against me. However, it wasn’t only the theme that had me attracted to the movie. The movie had an incredible story and cast and even more incredible music and singing.

The movie was about a man named P.T. Barnum and his new idea, “Show Business.” The movie tells his tale from the very beginning and it tells an incredible story. Without spoiling the movie too much for those who have not watched it, I would like to say that the movie starts out showing what P.T. Barnum became, before going back into a flashback to what he was–a poor tailor’s son. The story starts from there as he struggles to survive and support his family and become someone in the world while still following his dreams.

The noblest art is that of making others happy.”

— P.T. Barnum

The cast of the movie included several famous names such as Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, Zac Efron as Phillip Carlyle, Michelle Williams as Charity Barnum, and Zendaya as Anne Wheeler. These characters all come from different backgrounds, and they each have different goals which twist and change throughout the movie. This movie was directed by Michael Gracey, and was written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, who are all known for several popular movies.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The music is phenomenal. As a musical, The Greatest Showman had a lot to live up to and it certainly surpassed my expectations. I would even go back to see the movie a second time just for the music. The music was modern and did a good job of making modern and fun music for a movie set in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The music was written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek who have also written music for La La Land, Trolls, and The Flash. The Greatest Showman was reviewed by Sandie Angulo Chen from Common Sense Media who said, “The soundtrack is in many ways more remarkable than the movie itself, with showstopping anthems like Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Show’ and ‘A Million Dreams’ and the romantic ‘Rewrite the Stars’ — a lovely duet by Efron and Zendaya.”

Besides the excellent writing and the stunning music, The Greatest Showman had an empowering message of equality. The show that P.T. Barnum puts together casts different people from different backgrounds, sizes, genders, and colors. Even though the movie takes place in the 1850’s and 1860’s and many of the people in the movie would have been thought of as “freaks”–they were all able to succeed. Even  people like General Tom Thumb who is a 22 year old dwarf, Anne and W.D. Wheeler who are African American, and even Lettie Lutz who is the “Bearded Lady” shine because of differences and are able to make a family out of the show while fighting for their individual ideas and differences. There are not only these four people who were different; the whole “circus” created by P.T. Barnum was based on the idea that people thought of as “different” or “unique” would be the perfect people for his new idea of “Show Business.”

In general, The Greatest Showman was a phenomenal movie that was able to show me both hardship and happiness. It was able to tell me a story and entertain me with music. But I think the thing that was most important to me was the messages of equality and perseverance and I would recommend this movie to anyone willing to watch it.

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