Movie Review: #GreatestShowman is the Best Celebration of Humanity in a Movie So Far

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#The Greatest Showman

As long as this year is concerned, there is no movie that celebrates wholesomely what humanity truly entails, like the movie – The Greatest Showman. Let me explain…

The Greatest Showman is a pure burst of delight, from the very first scene; need I say that no motion picture can pull off such enthralling effect on its audience other than one which draws directly from a true life story which the people can easily relate to.

At 1hr 45mins, this movie leaves no second without something memorable to cling unto like life itself. A very simple script with the little twist of fate, but the execution thereof was good enough to rekindle faith in movie musicals.

This musical drama film tells in a creatively ordered sequence, the story of P.T. Barnum, hitting especially on how he came into prominence by his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

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The narrative begins from Barnum’s childhood and flows in rhythmic scenes leading up to his rise to the top chain, with detailed attention paid to his love life, his family and business; all these woven around the lives of the circus’s famous attractions.

It is really astonishing to have found out that it is in this movie written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon that Michael Gracey made his feature directorial debut.

For Gracey, he has set himself on a very tasking path, because from the moment he finished directing The Greatest Showman, he not only announced himself to the world as a competent director but indeed he told the world to expect only magic from his next production; we can only hope that this first will not be his Magnus Opus.

A movie of captivating oddities and experimentation is what The Great Showman would easily pass for from the jacket cover. Those not too familiar with roles and casting in Hollywood might be very shocked to see Hugh Jackman play the role of P.T. Barnum, the ambitious showman and entrepreneur.

However, it is not in merely delivering his lines as an ambitious showman that the wow factor is achieved by Jackman, but it is in seeing him sync effortlessly his personality and dance choreography with a sonorous voice that sends chills down the spine, that the conscious audience is kept at an ecstatic state almost all through the duration of this film.

It should not come as a mystery that Jackman’s performance was above outstanding all through the movie, for as far back as 1994, this Australian actor, singer and producer, had begun to cut his teeth in theatre and television business.

There are many who never knew that Hugh Jackman is a musician who holds his own concerts and performs on Broadway, being nominated and winning so many awards for his musical theatre performances.

Our movie is however not just hinged around the multi-talented Jackman, as roles played by high schools musical sweetheart – Zac Efron was also effortless and as well very powerful.

To delve deep into the roles played by Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, as well as others, would be to kill the suspense and the thrill that this classic holds in stock.

That said, this piece would still not have served its purpose if it does not point anyone in the right directions as to what key ingredients they should watch out for while watching The Greatest Showman.

What makes this American musical drama a must watch, stems from the costume, how the costumier (Ellen Mirojnick) depicts the era in details in moves on to the cinematography, the way the dance moves gelled with tempo and timing of the songs, say a lot about the direction and the duration it took for the film to be put together.

Talking a bit further on the directing/editing of this movie, anyone with a keen eye will see how meticulous the director and editor were on this project.

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To get a full grasp of the meticulous work done by the director and editor, one needs to watch over and again the scene was Rebecca Ferguson who played Jenny Lind – the famous Sweedish singer was known as the “Sweedish Nightingale” made her debut in America.

If one is not lost in the beauty of the piece rendered at this scene, then one would notice how the lyrics were interpreted by various characters in the movie, with very timely cuts that ensure the messages were not lost in translation.

Beyond losing the messages, there was a very conscious effort to ensure that while the camera goes back and forth between the Sweedish Nightingale and other characters executing various actions, the decorum within the arena was preserved, making that moment the most sublime of the movie.

I doubt if there is anyone who at this point in the movie who would not have been blown away into the blues, because Loren Allred’s voice which was provided for Lind, was nothing less than that of the nightingale.

This leads to the final and most important ingredient that made this movie a potpourri of creative goodness, and that is nothing else but the quality of sound and the music selections which after all is the real reason anyone should watch a musical.

With eleven numbers consciously selected, nine of which were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; one can easily see that The Greatest Showman is a movie shot to make a remarkable statement.

It is no surprise that the soundtrack album which features eleven tracks performed by the cast became only the second album in 30 years to achieve 11 consecutive weeks at number 1 in the United Kingdom.

Statistics now show that The Greatest Showman currently draws level with Adele’s 21 for the longest unbroken run at the UK summit in the last 30 years. “The cast album is now at 465,000 combined units, according to the Official Charts Company, made up of 197,000 physical copies, 107,000 downloads and 35% streaming”.

Let me say at this juncture that if you long for happiness, then you can get an extra dose from this movie.

If my prescriptions are anything to go by, then a Sunday night would be best for anyone to see this film, the reason is simple, you can be sure that you will retire to bed very refreshed and at dawn, you will rise up rejuvenated and inspired for the week.


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