The Greatest Showman: The greatest show of the year

A couple of weeks ago, “The Greatest Showman” was released in theaters around the world. With various stars such as Hugh Jackman and Zendaya, and over seven years of development under its belt, many were speaking about the movie months before its release and it did not disappoint.
“The Greatest Showman” is about P. T. Barnum, the man who created the first circus and gave people who have been shunned from society a home and a family. What’s most impressive, though, is how the movie managed to stay true to that, encompassing its viewers in the feeling that they themselves were at the circus. The movie had music and dancing and large lavish numbers that made viewers feel like they were at the circus, about to see something that is impossible in their day to day lives. The opening scene is of P. T. Barnum putting on a show in his circus, with all sorts of animals and interesting people and a million things going on, and it succeeded in immediately getting the viewers excited for what they were about to watch. Although that scene didn’t exactly flow into the beginning of the story or connect back at any other point in the film, it was a sort of homage to Barnum himself. Barnum knew how to start off a show right, making people excited and wanting more, and that’s what the director of “The Greatest Showman” did for its very modern audience. Although, without the score, the director and the rest of the cast, the show would’ve been left floundering like a fish out of water, with no sustenance to keep it going.
The music for the show was astounding and is accountable for the movie’s brilliance. The writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are in the midst of a winning streak, creating the multi-Tony winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Oscar winning “La La Land.” “The Greatest Showman” seems to be the next in a long line of musical accomplishments for these two. The score managed to stay true to the era while also connecting to modern day music so that today’s audience would not get bored. It was as if they had pitched the idea of the first circus to someone in 2017 and wanted to make music that would fit that atmosphere. The only place where I was confused was Jenny Lin’s song “Never Enough.” Lin was introduced as the best opera singer in all of Europe and “Never Enough” truly was a beautiful piece that was delivered flawlessly and took my breath right out of me, but it had absolutely no operatic components to it. She didn’t ever go for the high, long notes that are so characteristic for that genre. Instead, she stayed put in an alto range for the vast majority of the song and only held out one particularly lengthy note. But where that one song let me down, the other ten in the movie made up for it, keeping me invested in the characters and almost jumping in my seat, with the music causing the excitement of the events to seep into my veins.
As for the plot, the premise is incredible. The idea of a man bringing the neglected and disgraced into the light and praising them for their differences is a meaningful message, especially where we currently are in the world. When it is no longer safe to have your own opinion and embrace who you are, this movie can be a powerful reminder that not only is no one alone, but everyone should embrace who they are and the differences they have between them and their next-door neighbor. This movie is for anyone who has ever felt alone or different or left out. This movie is for everyone. To put it in the words of the self-righteous critic in the movie, “The Greatest Showman” is a film that brings about the “celebration of humanity,” and reminds us of what really matters in this world.