We may only be a few days into 2018 but I’ve already found my favourite film of the year.
Last night I took my first trip to the cinema in goodness knows how long to watch The Greatest Showman, the latest offering from 20th Century Fox. I’d heard nothing but good things about this film and with it being a musical, I was extremely optimistic about what was in store. I’m a huge fan of musicals; the 2012 remake of Les Misérables is still yet to be beaten as my favourite film of all time but The Greatest Showman does come pretty close.
The film tells the story of how Phineas T. Barnum, a poor, young tailor’s boy with a head full of dreams and ambitions grows up to marry his childhood sweetheart, Charity. Together they raise their two daughters, Caroline and Helen. When the trading company in which Barnum works for goes bust, he sets out to get a $10,000 loan from the bank to open a museum, Barnum’s American museum. The museum filled with oddities, initially fails to take off. It’s not until his young daughters suggest that he puts more ‘alive things’ into his museum that things really turn around for Barnum.
After recruiting a cast of ‘unique persons’ who are viewed as outcasts by the rest of society, they put on a musical number that wins over the crowd and leaves people coming back for more and more.
As Barnum’s show goes from strength to strength, he changes the museum to ‘Barnum’s Circus’ and purchases a grand mansion; the childhood dream house of Charity and Phineas. Barnum recruits a partner, the young Phillip Carlyle and the show and cast gain such a reputation that Queen Victoria, Queen of England invites them to her court. It is here where Barnum meets the incredibly beautiful and talented Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind who he manages to persuade to come to the States and participate in his show.
After seeing the audience’s reaction to Jenny’s performance, Barnum decides to leave Carlyle to take over as ringmaster of the circus so he can embark on a tour with Miss Lind.
Little does Barnum know however that back at the circus, his performers are in trouble as they are suffering from ever more frequent and vicious attacks from local protesters. On the night that Barnum returns from his tour with Jenny, a particularly nasty fight breaks out between the circus cast and the protesters which results in a fire that completely destroys the circus and leaves Barnum wondering what on earth he is going to do. You’ll have to go and watch it for yourself though if you want to find out if Barnum manages to turns his fortunes around.
From the opening sequence of the film, your ears are treated to a spirit lifting, goose bump inducing sound track that really will have you smiling, tearing up and tapping your feet in your seat, sometimes all three simultaneously. I enjoyed the soundtrack even more the second time around when I was singing along to it in the shower this morning.
Hugh Jackman does an excellent job as PT Barnum and with previous experience at playing family orientated characters in lead singing roles (think Jean Valjean in Les Misérables) they got the casting of this role spot on in my opinion.
Other members of the star studded cast include Zac Efron, Zendaya and Michelle Wiliams who all do an excellent job of transporting the audience through the emotional and magical story.
If I haven’t convinced you to go and see this film by now, then maybe the fact that the international box office takings have now totaled over $93,000,000(!!!!) in under 2 weeks will convince you. If you make one new years resolution this year that you actually stick to; make it to go and experience the wonders of PT Barnum’s circus in The Greatest Showman.