Holiday Movie Guide: The Greatest Showman

Having seen so many action and adventure films this year, audiences are probably ready for something new. Musicals might not be in everyone’s wheel house but there’s something to be said about The Greatest Showman. If you need a movie to see this holiday season outside of superheroes and Christmas films, let this be the one.

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A biopic of the life of P. T. Barnum and his rise building one of the greatest circus acts. Many critics are already blasting the film in their reviews but we’ve learned not to trust the opinion of critics. The Greatest Showman is a fun and energetic film about finding a place we fit in this world. Hugh Jackman along with Zac Efron star in this musical designed to teach audiences to dream big and live bigger. Aside for the casual nuances of the film there’s plenty to enjoy.

Although the movie shows only a small part of the life of Barnum, there’s plenty of substance within the film to get a feel for the man himself. Without Barnum some of the exciting shows today may not have existed. A master of hoaxes with a flair for the dramatic Barnum pulled audiences in with wonder and excitement and would go on to bring to life the worlds largest traveling circus.

What makes the film memorable itself is the work done by the cast. We see a different side of Hugh Jackman not many are used to past his Wolverine days. His portrayal of P.T. Barnum pushes the hopeful optimist throughout the film. Zac Efron, who plays Philip Carlyle, is the cautious balance to Barnum’s excitement. Since most musicals have a central love interest The Greatest Showman isn’t without its own. The love of Barnum and his wife, the heartbreak portrayal of Jenny Lind, and Carlyle’s fall for one of the acts Anne Wheeler, played by Zendaya.

One of the crowning achievements of The Greatest Showman is the portrayal of the social outcasts or freaks without the usual heavy hand of Hollywood studios. There was no smack in the face, here’s what we’re trying to convey to the audience that often distracts from the movie itself. A few subtle hints that kept the flow of the excitement going made it worth the watch. Taking a step back from expectations, critics and audiences alike should enjoy it from start to finish. The Greatest Showman perfectly captures the magic and wonder of why people were drawn in to a circus in the first place. It’s not about the people, places or things. It’s about the excitement and spectacle. If you’re looking for a movie to see this holiday season outside the normal, you won’t be disappointed.

 

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