MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Greatest Showman’ shows depth and heart

Emily Foster

Staff Writer

“The Greatest Showman” is a fantastic modern musical about P.T. Barnum and the beginnings of his circus.

It is a short but fun and poignant film about following your dreams, defying expectations and embracing who you are.

The movie starts out in a whirlwind introducing the viewer to a young Phineas Taylor Barnum, a poor tailor’s son, and his romantic interest, Charity Hallett, a rich white girl. In one musical number, we see the charm of their relationship and how it matures.

Later in life, the starry-eyed and ambitious dreamer, Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, finds himself in need of work. He decides to form a show with the most exquisite outcasts of America, giving them a place in the limelight.

The film shows how Barnum pushed the boundaries and showed compassion to those shunned by everyone else. He gave them purpose and dignity while also achieving his own aspirations for success.

Along with this encouraging story comes beautifully artistic shots and a soundtrack that will be going through your head for weeks afterwards.

The musical’s soundtrack plays a key role in the film and does not disappoint. The catchy tunes have inspiring lyrics that will make you want to join the dancing and belt out in song.

The numbers that feature the circus are upbeat and have modern dance moves and basslines. Meanwhile, many of the other songs in the movie hit different notes. However, they are just as moving. Some may even bring a tear to your eye.

The aesthetics of the film feature many bright colors and grand scenery that draws you in and fills you with wonder. The costuming was on point and members of the circus troupe fit easily into their roles.

Zac Efron and Zendaya also play key roles in the film, displaying depth of character and a romantic story that will keep you at the edge of your seat. They show off their dance and vocal abilities while also performing aerial stunts — what more could a moviegoer ask for?

Hugh Jackman starring role brought heart and soul into the film with his masterful singing, dancing and acting. He makes P.T. Barnum a character to root for and his mission one you want to be a part of.

My only true complaint about the movie was that I wanted more. With a runtime of only 105 minutes, I felt that it ended too soon.

While the plot progressed nicely and ended neatly, when the film finished I felt that only a short time had passed. I wish they had taken more time to highlight some of the minor characters and show more of the acts of the circus instead of focusing so closely on the main characters’ stories.

Other than that, the film played on the audience’s collective heartstrings and steadily drew you in for more.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming movie with a fun vibe and a soundtrack that matches, this is the film for you.

What some have called “High School Musical for adults,” “The Greatest Showman” is a feel-good film that shows depth of character and a message of redemption, while also providing a thrill of excitement and a few heartfelt romances.

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