‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake.
Does this sound anything like you? Yeah? Well, then you’re gonna love The Greatest Showman as much as I did. And that’s A LOT.
Because to say The Greatest Showman has exceeded my expectations is an understatement.
To be clear, I had my hopes high because I totally loved what I’ve seen in the trailer all those months ago, and knowing this was Hugh Jackman’s baby I somehow had a trust in him. After all, he’s always made it clear he genuinely loved musicals.
But what happens when you pair Hugh Jackman with Zac Efron?
A musical that has absolutely no competition.
Honestly, with all the respect to La La Land which I absolutely loved, I think I’ve never seen (and heard!) anything more beautiful than this film. Though comparing The Greatest Showman to La La Land is like comparing Fred Astaire movies to Moulin Rouge. Both beautiful but completely different.
The Greatest Showman is a musical for the MTV generation. And I mean it in the best possible way.
Musically & visually stunning and perfectly staged.
It’s an absolute masterpiece. I’ve not seen so much talent in one place for ages.
But apart from the stunning visuals and amazing music, the film has also a very powerful message to deliver. In fact, it could not have been released at better time.
But let’s take it step by step..
Normally in musicals, you hope for at least one powerful song – and that’s what you usually get. One song that becomes symbolic for the film, usually gets an Oscar nomination (and wins) and couple of other nice songs that you enjoy listening to. But you keep wishing for more songs like THAT one. You wish those scenes you love were longer – or there’d be more of them.
Well, in case of The Greatest Showman, every song is absolutely memorable. Every song is THAT powerful moment you’ve been waiting for. And they just keep coming!
Unlike La La Land where the best part came in the first third of the film and then in the second half the musical numbers kept disappearing (again – I DID love La La Land!), here you’re served one powerful moment after another and can hardly pick your favourite.
It’s like a firework show of sorts!
The music is absolutely amazing. I’ve never heard so many amazing original songs in one film – or in two hours time. So no wonder, when the finale comes it’s not actually all that powerful anymore, because well… you’ve just seen so much.
Visually it’s absolutely stunning, the actors performances are stellar, Hugh Jackman is totally charming and Zac Efron… well, I just don’t know which one of these two pick to drool over!
The transitions between the musical numbers and the dialogues throughout the film are so smooth and so well executed that I’m not sure I’ve seen anything so well done before – well, at least not in the last twenty years. And it’s a pure joy to watch. Because they are actually moving the storyline forward – they’re not there just to be pretty to look at.
From the minute the film starts to the minute it ends, there is not one dull moment.
And then there’s the scene with Jackman and Efron in the bar.. Well, that one is pure genius. It’s so well done, thought of into every little detail, yet so natural and fun. And the chemistry between these two is as good as it gets.
However, it doesn’t stop with Jackman and Efron.
When Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind steps onto the stage and starts to sing, you will watch her with your mouth open same as P.T. Barnum (Jackman) did. Honestly, she is breathtaking (although unlike the others it’s not actually Ferguson herself who sings the part).
As is Zendaya and the rest of the cast.
I even enjoyed Michelle Williams whom I’m not exactly fond of but the chemistry between her and Jackman was great as was her singing (big surprise there!).
I even adored the kids! If you know me well, you know I usually hate kids in movies who are supposed to be cute and all (but then they’re just not). Well, these kids really are! They are so damn cute I wish they were mine. Cutest little girls ever!
Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I’d like their daddy too… so can I just be Michelle Williams, please? That would work 😀 (I would even get to meet Zac that wait…. oooh, but maybe I’d rather be Zendaya then? Damn, this is hard 😀 )
Okay, okay… back to the topic *cough*
I honestly can’t see a single flaw in this film. And I can’t imagine a better film to start the year with – and a better soundtrack to get me through it! And especially – a better mindset.
‘Cause yeah, it’s more than just music.
The message of the film is once again the one for the dreamers. And hell, I am one of them!
As Jenny Lind tells to Barnum, your success is not measured by the status you were born into but by the conditions you got from to where you are now.
I love that.
And I so understand Barnum’s need to prove everybody wrong because I know so damn well what it feels like when people don’t believe in you or your dreams, and think they are just foolish only because of where you come from..
The important part though is to know the limits. To know when you’ve done enough and there’s no need to keep on proving yourself to the world. You did it. And that should be enough. Otherwise, you could just fall right back where you started from.
But not only does The Greatest Showman celebrate life and the dreamers, it also celebrates humanity. And family and friendship.
And it celebrates love. Love for what you do. Love for the people and yourself.
It teaches us to embrace ourselves the way we are and not judge anyone by their appearance. Everyone is unique, and we are all equal.
And finally, when we go back to the bar scene where Barnum tries to convince Carlyle (Efron) to join the circus, trying to turn him on the other side, it also presents the conflict we are constantly being faced with – are we gonna do what we truly love, what will fulfill us and set us free? Or that that is expected of us but doesn’t bring any joy into our lives…
The Greatest Showman’s message is clear on that: do not care what others think about you. Do what feels right to you. You might just be surprised how much fun you’re gonna have and how free you’re gonna feel. Isn’t that worth the risk? Rather than staying your comfort zone forever..
Oh you will just feel so empowered after watching this film!
And that’s the best thing about it. You can take that feeling you’ll have while watching it, anywhere with you in the form of the soundtrack. And it’s not songs that feel like musical songs, you know what I mean? They are current songs. As current as you can get. A pure masterpiece! I wish all music on radios would actually be this good.
Put it on your playlist and I can guarantee your mornings will greatly improve! And so will your attitude.
As P.T. Barnum says, the most noble of arts is the one that brings happiness into people’s lives. Damn right! That’s always been my motto when talking about movies and defending my favourites when the critics called something too ‘spectacular’, full of cliché, tacky or whatever. So what?
What is wrong with any of those when done well? What is wrong with enjoying yourself? With somthing bringing pure joy into your life?
This film should get a whole bunch of Oscars but you know what? It only got one nomination and that’s for the best song.
It made me wanna get up of my seat and dance like 90% of the time. I enjoyed EVERY single second. Not serious enough of a topic? Well, who cares. It made me happy. It encouraged me. It made me wanna celebrate life. Because if this is one thing then it’s a celebration of life. A life where anything is possible.
So, if you’ve not seen The Greatest Showman yet and are in a need of a cheer-up, a beautiful movie experience, some major inspiration, or you simply wanna enjoy yourself – go and buy your tickets before it’s too late.