A month after premiering in theatres, writers for The Greatest Showman accepted the award for Best Original Song, “This Is Me”, at the 2018 Golden Globes. The movie’s soundtrack also hit number one on the Billboard 200 and iTunes album charts. Gaining success in such a little amount of time sounds quite impossible, especially for a film that was given a 56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Greatest Showman is an original musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum. It follows his journey from poverty to a life of success after revolutionizing the world of entertainment by opening up a circus. Barnum found success in showcasing unique and peculiar acts on stage and soon became hungry for crowds of people and respectability. He risks the most important aspects of his life to appeal to the sophisticated, highbrow crowd, something he felt the urge to prove. Barnum is then caught between choosing a life of success or reconnecting with his family.
The most appealing aspect of the film was the music. Before watching the movie, I went in with a familiarity of the composers, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, both of which won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2017 for La La Land ’s,“City of Stars”. I feared for what this new movie would bring to the table after the overwhelming success La La Land achieved in 2017. However, I found that my perceptions were wrong. The song “This Is Me” opened my eyes on an issue that shows itself in everyday life. The song was made to empower those who are criticized for their appearance and abilities and to not listen to what people will say because you are who you are and that is something to be proud of. I was brought to tears numerous times from the music alone.
The story the film portrayed of P.T. Barnum is merely an inspiration. The real story of Barnum and how he transformed show business was compressed and molded into a basic rags-to-riches plot. I found everything to be very predictable like I had seen it before. The movie fits together like puzzle pieces. Everything worked out exactly how I thought it would. It lacked surprise. It lacked mystery. It was a good movie but it was surface level. I wanted something a little more real.
Overall, I enjoyed what The Greatest Showman stood for and I continue to find myself listening to the soundtrack more often than I am willing to admit. It left me with a good message: to accept myself and others and to love the people who stick by you. That is what really matters after all.