Everyone has a great story to tell. We all want our story to be great when people know about it. Some said that your story will be great if you’ve got big dreams. Especially when those dream will happen in real life. We continue to live hoping that our dreams will someday be fulfilled. Just like PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman) the protagonist of this film, on his quest in proving he got something in this world. All he wanted was to show the world that from this poor little kid who was once a son of a tailor will become someone else. Well Barnum didn’t fail us. He showed the world the great man he is by the shows he produced.
THE GREATEST SHOW: Why is it the greatest show?
The movie was based on a true story and life of the Phineas Taylor Barnum, an American showman, politician, and businessman being remembered as the one who founded and crafted the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Although the character of PT Barnum in the film is very different from how the real PT Barnum was being described in documentaries.
From the award winning director of La La Land, Michael Gracey was able to pull out a big musical hit with the help also of the brilliant writer Jenny Bicks. The story revolves around a man who will do everything for his wife Charity Barnum (Michelle Williams) and his two young daughters. This man failed at his first attempt in running a museum, because it’s so usual for others. Then he was convinced by his daughters when they said their museum are full of dead things. He came up with a bright idea of putting odd-looking people and make an entertainment out of them. Until such time when he wanted to reach the elite people and level up his dreams, that’s when the flaw of the story happened.
As we can see, PT Barnum was after the fame and money. Not that it’s wrong to aim for those things, but he forgot about the people who helped him first. These odd people whom we thought he saved from their fears of expressing themselves, were left behind when he discovered the broadway legend Jenny Lind (Rebecca Reguson) who also fell in love with him. Yet PT Barnum still chooses his family at the end of the film.
The story is great as it was that it’s hard for me not to like the film. Great soundtracks, performance, cinematography and story. Although there are still a lot of problems in the film that was really obvious such as the flaw of the lead character. Instead of loving his character, I realized at the end of the film that he was a user and greedy of money and fame but his intention of showcasing the unusual because they deserve to be recognized also is inspiring and powerful.
A MILLION DREAMS
What keep the film awake?
The magic of the film’s soundtrack will sweep us up along the way. Catchy original songs like, “The Greatest Show”, “Rewrite the Stars”, “From Now On”, “Come Alive”, “Never Enough”, and “This is Me” are one of the reasons that this film became outstanding. Definitely you’ll leave the cinema with joy and satisfaction. This songs are well written and the lyrics really touches the heart of every human.
The purpose of the film really truly inspire us to dream more. Despite the loopholes of the film, we can see how much the impact of the lesson really reach into the hearts of many.
What makes their performance alive?
The film also shows forbidden romance between Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya). Witnessing the growth of Zac Efron as a musical artist and performer from his career in the past, he then proves us that his passion in music didn’t end. Another stellar performance from Zendaya as an actor and singer. Their chemistry really made this film alive.
Unforgettable performances from Lettie “The Bearded Lady” Lutz (Keala Settle) from her song, “This is me” gives goose bumps not only because of the absolute joy of the song but the message of the song to all the people who are afraid to show the world what they’ve got.
Let’s not also forget the wonderful performance of Juckman who is naturally talented. Along with the diverse cast who gave their best in the film.
Is everything in the film enough?
Obviously the film wants to achieve a colorful and glamorous cinematography. Understanding that it’s a musical film there a lot of unreal scenes such as the duet of PT and Charity Barnum at the rooftop, the elephants and other animals they ride when they arrive in their circus, the slow motion of the dances when Lettie sung, “This is Me. ”
The film also manages to establish good transitions especially on the part where young PT and Charity’s duet on the first part of the film. Instead of cutting the scene, the film uses continuity technique in the tranisition.
The elements they put together wasn’t really enough to deliver the main message of the film which explores inequality, prejudices, and racism. It was not addressed well because the hope of the film which is the lead character himself didn’t fully stand to lift up these people just like the real PT Barnum.
It’s never enough to just use them to reach your dream. From his line, “People are watching hoodwink characters, now I want them to see something real. ” That confirmed me that his purpose of getting the people for his show is not for their own good (that we thought he also cares for them) but most of all is for his own good only.
THIS IS ME
This is me, this is not real.
What the film trying to say is don’t hesitate to show others of who you truly are. The presentation of this message lacks deep meaning when PT Barnum chooses what the world truly wants and not what the world needs to see. Therefore the moral lesson is ruined because of the character flaw of PT Barnum.
REWRITE THE STARS
Rewrite the film?
The technicalities are on point but the content gives less importance. Some part of me wish that the story was rewrite by others but of course the message we get from the film will be different when it was written by other writers. Overall the film served its purpose. The film is highly recommended to the fan of musical films. Hoping that more musical films will be produced just like this.
FROM NOW ON
From now on to make people happy is our avenue for a peaceful world
The quote at the last part, “The noblest art is that of making other people happy. ” didn’t accomplished by the protagonist at the beginning. He thought that his actors and family are happy with the achievements his making as he’s the only one left being happy and his loved ones wasn’t happy already because he keeps on chasing on his dreams because of his miserable past.
So from now on I learned that it doesn’t mean that when we are happy, people around us are happy too. The film allows us to relate with PT Barnum. That sometimes we all just want to be successful and forgetting to be a good person. That what’s important is to have a good heart not a rich life. In the end, PT Barnum in the film saw his mistakes and that’s the only time that he first trusted his performers when he fall down from his career.
The Greatest Showman assess us of who we want to be in the real world and not only to imagine that someday we will be this kind person we want to be, but also to make our dreams in real life as good people of this world.
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