Review: Turn On The Festive Spirit with The Greatest Showman
Christmas and holiday season is here, it is time for you and family to enjoy a great movie together. Musical movie “The Greatest Showman” might be the best choice for you if you are into circus and stuff. The movie is inspired by the legend and ambitions of America’s original pop-culture impresario, P.T. Barnum, who built his own circus and show empire. It comes with an inspirational rags-to-riches tale of a brash dreamer who rose from nothing to prove that anything you can envision is possible and that everyone, no matter how invisible, has a stupendous story worthy of a world-class spectacle. Australian filmmaker Michael Gracey makes his feature film directorial debut with The Greatest Showman, a story that, in the larger-than-life spirit of Barnum, bursts into a boldly imagined fictional realm, one full of infectious pop tunes, glam dances and a celebration of the transformative power of showmanship, love and self-belief. He worked with Award Winning composer, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land) with a multi-talented cast headed by Hugh Jackman to immerse audiences in the very origins of mass entertainment and mega-celebrities in the 70s … the 1870s that is. The result is a chance to enter the newly electrified world of America’s post-Civil War Gilded Age — through the viscerally contemporary lens of the pop culture just igniting then.
P.T. Barnum may have lived over a century ago, but for Gracey, he was a progenitor of our times. The film is a musical reverie, an ode to dreams, and partly a biopic. The Greatest Showman also touches on another idea of these times: that of chosen families built around allowing people to express who they are without reservation. Barnum chose people who are often ignored or discriminated into his show and that idea made us cheer for the underdogs in this film. Not only his peak, the film also tells about Barnum’s collapse in his career. We could say that Jackman was able to play the showman role pretty well since his usual role often includes action stuff. Zendaya and Zac Efron look effortlessly happy while dancing on the show, reminiscing their pasts as Disney stars maybe. Another surprise was served by Rebecca Ferguson who actually sings pretty well for a non-opera singer. Speaking of family, Michelle Williams’ character, Charity Barnum showed that mother’s love to family is unconditional. Keala Settle (“Lettie Lutz”/The bearded lady) strengthened the idea of chosen families built around allowing people to express who they are without reservation.
Fox did a well or slightly average job in delivering a musical movie like this. The Great Showman feels pretty similar with animated movie “SING”, but done in human version. A talented designer from Indonesia- Rinaldy A. Yunardy participated in the film. You could tell which piece of the costume or wardrobe he created if you watch this movie on theater. Merry Christmas and happy holiday!