Circuses may be dying out, but The Greatest Showman is thriving and the film does a phenomenal job portraying how these shows first began.
After losing his job, P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) decides to open his own wax museum. He soon realizes that historical wax figures are not very interesting to the public, so he takes a chance and gathers a group of so-called freaks to start a new kind of show.
This heartfelt movie-musical shows how the circus came to be through emotional songs and brilliant characters. The movie is filled with laughs, most caused by P.T., his apprentice Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron), and all of the circus performers.
The film may be humorous, but it also showcases some important themes.
Through the budding relationship of Phillip and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya), an African-American trapeze artist, the movie touches on the ideas of racism and fighting against society’s expectations.
The whole film captures the ideas of self-acceptance and not letting anyone dictate who people are. This is especially shown through the song “This is Me,” which is sung by the oppressed circus performers.
Audiences may shed a tear or two, but the overall message will allow them to leave the theater smiling and feeling as though they witnessed something magical.