the greatest showman

★★★★

DIRECTOR: michael gracey (debut)
STARRING: hugh jackman, zac efron, michelle williams, and zendaya  

REVIEWER: emily carter

An original musical based on the life of P. T. Barnum The Greatest Showman celebrates a visionary who came from nothing to create 'The Greatest Show on Earth' which became a world wide phenomenon. 

P.T Barnum is orphaned as a boy, but despite a troubled childhood always nurtures big, fanciful dreams. He marries his childhood love and has two daughters before dire circumstances see him move to make his dreams a reality. He seeks out the weird and wonderful in an aim to entertain - and 'show business' is born. Big doors are opened with even bigger names, and soon the family-man discovers fame, but is it all to his downfall?

 

Hugh Jackman leads the cast as P.T Barnum in what can only be called a musical extravaganza. It's glitz and glamour all wrapped up in a heart-warming story of family and chasing that vision, even in the face of nay-sayers. Michelle Williams is a graceful Charity Barnum who can hold her own in musical pieces, and of course Keala Settle belts the beautiful and powerful This is Me as the Bearded Woman.

 

Set in the 1800s and inspired by the real P.T Barnum, The Greatest Showman is fantastical and utterly entertaining. While parts of the story may seem predictable, any shortfall in plot is superbly surpassed by every song performed. The joy felt amongst the audience with every musical piece was palpable. I've never witnessed audience members whooping, cheering or shouting "nooooo!" at those inevitable heart-breaking moments quite like I have in The Greatest Showman.

 

With a sweeping message that's relatable to most, this film is only ever endearing. You're inspired to embrace uniqueness without any cheesiness taking hold. With nods to racial and social inequality at the time the film is set, The Greatest Showman aims to also reflect the worst parts of our society and shows us how to spin them on their head in the most triumphant way.

 

This film is a winner for the whole family, but nothing shines quite like the songs - the magnitude of the music simply can't be overlooked! Sit down and share this film with all your loved ones, it shouldn't be missed. 

★★★★

BEST OF THE BONUS FEATURES:

The Songs

Delve into all the creative magic behind the songs that make The Greatest Showman one of the most imaginative, awe inspiring, and impacting modern musicals. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul explain in great detail how they wrote each song with cast members sharing their memories of filming the songs as well.

Here how Hugh Jackman ended up splitting stitches while singing, how Keala Settle (The Beared Lady) was never meant to have been in the role, and how Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote the smash hit on an airplane flight.

The Family Behind The Greatest Showman

Go behind the scenes and journey from The Greatest Showman starting as an idea seven years ago to it being on the big screen. See all of the frustrations and joys, the different departments, and the themes that the film makers intended on embedding deep within the story. 

The Greatest Showman is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K HD, and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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