Greatest show on earth: Big top makes debut on big screen capturing audiences across country

Alexis Martinez

Colorful lights, two-ton elephants balancing on small, round rubber balls, ferocious man-eating lions jumping through hoops, and trapeze artists flying and tumbling in the air ever so gracefully. All together to create the greatest show on earth. The Greatest Showman is an original musical about the origins of P. T. Barnum’s vision to create something new that would eventually become a worldwide phenomenon.

The Greatest Showman brings a beautiful message of not being afraid to be different and encourages people to show pride in what makes them special. Instead of creating a boring lengthy film documentary about P.T. Barnum’s life, director Michael Gracey made the film into a wonderful hit musical. There were some inaccuracies about P.T. Barnums life, but that is to be expected of any Hollywood movie. The soundtrack with the film has already hit number one on its fourth week on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It features catchy songs such “This Is Me” which won Best Original Song at the Golden Globes sung by Keala Settle (Lettie Lutz); a beautifully written song about not being ashamed of who you are even if the world is trying to bring you down. Other songs on the album are catchy as well, such as “Rewrite the Stars”, sung by Disney Channel stars Zac Efron (Phillip Carlyle) and Zendaya Coleman (Anne Wheeler), and “Never Enough” by actress Rebecca Ferguson (Jenny Lind). While the whole soundtrack is great, none could really top the message “This Is Me” sent to the audience.

The Greatest Showman captivates audiences with its creative plot and wonderfully-cast characters. Even the child actors did a phenomenal job of portraying their emotions. None could play the role of P.T. Barnum quite like Hugh Jackman. While watching the movie it was incredibly difficult to watch Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum) prance about on screen singing and dancing without imaging him with six, long adamantium-fused claws. Though Jackman has a history of playing in musical roles such as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, less people are as familiar with those roles as his masterfully portrayal of Logan a.k.a James Howlett a.k.a The Wolverine in the X-Men universe film, which is his most iconic role to date. Although it was difficult for me, Jackman still did a masterful job of acting and singing in The Greatest Showman.

Another actor who I couldn’t picture without his iconic Wildcat basketball uniform was Zac Efron (Phillip Carlyle). When Efron left Disney it seemed like he had a difficult time trying to find good roles to play. He went from an R-rated movie, That Awkward Moment, which had a cliche plot and crude comedy, to dreamy romantic films like The Lucky One that was one of those films which was worse than the book. However, I believe his role in this film helped bring his cycle of bad movies to an end. His character was well-developed and had good chemistry with his main love interest. Zac Efron did a wonderful job in The Greatest Showman and I would not have chosen anyone different for his role.

After seeing the trailers for The Greatest Showman, I couldn’t help but run to the box office and throw money at the ticket booth. Of course, being a fan of musicals, I absolutely loved the movie. It was well thought out, had beautiful lyrics, and wonderful actors. Coming back to school, I thought that not many people would have gone to see it. To my surprise, I was sitting in my advisory class and found out that my teacher and many of my classmates had gone to see it and felt the same way as I did. That’s right, high school students who typically go out and enjoy whatever bandwagon film social media told them to jump on. If high school students can enjoy this movie, I guarantee you will enjoy this movie.

To those of you who have not seen The Greatest Showman, don’t miss out on experiencing this movie; it will not be a waste of your time. It makes you feel empowered about who you are. Although, I should warn you: the soundtrack will be stuck in your head long after you’ve seen it and will make you want to rewatch it all over again. Even this writer (who has already seen it twice) is considering of going to rewatch the film.