Movie Review Monday

The Greatest Showman (2017)

I remember seeing a few trailers for this movie, but it wasn’t something that stuck with me. My boys’ friend said he saw it in the theater and that it was good, but other than that, I didn’t think much about it. My oldest commented that he wanted to see it, so we decided to watch it on a Saturday.

Right before watching the movie, I saw something about it online or on a commercial (I can’t remember where), and it made me realize the film might be a musical. At that moment, I had high hopes. When we started the movie, I crossed my fingers and hoped for great music. My wish was answered.

I know I talk a lot about action movies and horror movies and zombies, but I’m a fan of all types of films, including musicals. My mom is a church organist, so music has always played a role throughout my life. I took piano lessons as a kid, and I was in band (I started out playing flute, then I switched to French horn). I like all genres of music, and my iPod is an eclectic mix of heavy metal, show tunes, country, 80’s hair bands, and pop music.

The music in The Greatest Showman is phenomenal, and the story line works too. The film explores how P.T. Barnum established his circus, although Hollywood takes a few liberties with the story. Not a big deal. It was still a fun film.

The film is apparently 105 minutes long, but it doesn’t feel like it. The plot and music pull you forward and keep you entertained. The relationships between the characters are fantastic and rarely feel awkward or forced—unless they are supposed to. The film examines race and disabilities/physical differences and how they are perceived socially, so the discomfort comes from social tensions and disapproval. The class system is also scrutinized.

I’m not sure the point of the film is to find an answer to the questions it raises, but it does an amazing job of raising them and presenting them in a nonthreatening way. It’s easy for us in our modern society to look at the film and say, “That happened a long time ago. We’ve evolved since then,” but then we have to question whether or not we have.

The film did an amazing job of balancing social issues with wonderful music that was touching and upbeat. Immediately after the film was over, I downloaded the soundtrack to my iPod, and the boys and I have been listening to it like it’s going out of style.

I absolutely recommend this film, especially if you enjoy musicals, but even if you don’t. This one might surprise you. The story feels applicable to today, and it’s a fun film with deep meaning.

Who else has seen this movie? What did you think?

This is my favorite song from the movie, although all of them are fantastic!

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