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The Greatest Showman, 2017

December 4, 2018

 The Greatest Showman is a musical directed by Michael Gracey and distribued by Twentieh Century Fox. This film received 1 award and 3 nominations.

It’s inspired by a true story: the life of P.T. Barnum.

Phineas Taylor Barnum was born on July 5, 1810, in Bethel, Connecticut. P.T. Barnum became a successful promoter after moving to New York City.  He became famous thanks to  Joice Heth, a slave who was the star of his first attraction. She was registered as  the oldest specimen of mortality ; she was told to be 161 years but her true age was in fact 80 years. From 1841 to 1868, he ran the Barnum American Museum, which featured the “Feejee Mermaid,” “General Tom Thumb” and other oddities. In 1871, he launched the traveling spectacle that would eventually become the Ringling Bros.   After an illustrious career, Barnum died in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on April 7, 1891. He named himself ” The Prince of The Charlatans”.

The movie tells the story of Phineas Barnum, who works for a trading company until his boss tells everyone that they are shutting the company down. Barnum comes back home to his wife Charity and their daughters Caroline (Austyn Johnson) and Helen (Cameron Seely). He brings home a spinning lamp, or “wishing machine”, for Caroline’s birthday. Charity and the girls all make wishes, and Barnum hatches an idea…..  He thinks that humans love strangeness, mystery.  He will hire people with different features like woman-jaguar, dogman, man-snake, bearbed lady, dwarf, giant, siamese… He will face difficulties  and danger…  But the show must go on!

The actors who play the characters are:

  • Phineas.T Barnum:  Hugh Jackman
  • Charity Barnum: Michelle Williams
  • Phillip Carlyle: Zac Efron
  • Anne Wheeler: Zendaya
  • Lettie Lutz: Keala Settle
  • Jenny Lind: Rebecca Ferguson

I wanted to speak about this movie because the plot is not just  a love story, it’s also a movie which tells about the love of a family, the rejection of disabled people.. The themes of the movie are topical because different people are rejected.  We can emphasize that the people  in this film  judge every human. In one scene, which takes place in the circus during new star and opera singer, Jenny Lind’s performance, Anne Wheeler a former slave, now a trapeze artist, is seen hands interlocked with Phillip Carlyle, P.T Barnum’s new co-worker.  But as soon as Phillip’s parents see them together the judgement   in their gazes is so rude that we can imagine the pain of Anne. Phillip is unable to face his parents’ condemnation so he gives up Anne’s hand. We just have the time to see Anne’s sadness and pain before she leaves the dress circus. This movie shows a segreagated America  during the 19th century.

The film The Greatest showman is original, hopeful in the dark events; the symbolic of the songs is particularly positive.  Hope, freedom and love are the essence of songs.

The song  I like the most is “This is me” interpreted by the circus’ troup. I like it because it’s a  valuable and hopeful song . Pains and fears of different kind people is transformed into hope, pride and joy. It shows the strength and the power of the mind. If we are proud of ourselves , we can accomplish marvelous things even if we are different.

You can watch the clip thanks to the following link:

And as P.T Barnum said: ” The noblest art is that of making others happy”.

Julie

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