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The Greatest Showman: A Spectacular Celebration of Dreams and Diversity

Film Review

The Greatest Showman is a film that truly lives up to its name, delivering a spectacle that is as grand as the circus it portrays. This 2017 musical drama, directed by Michael Gracey, is a vibrant and energy-packed tribute to the life of P.T. Barnum, a man who revolutionized the entertainment industry with his vision and creativity. The film’s unique blend of historical narrative and contemporary musical elements has made it a standout, earning over $435 million worldwide and becoming the fifth-highest-grossing live-action musical film of all time.

Critics had mixed opinions about Hugh Jackman’s performance in “The Greatest Showman”. Nicholas Barber from praised Jackman’s performance, stating that the film is where he truly gets to unleash his inner trouper, and he barely stops singing, dancing, and flicking around a top hat from beginning to end. Helen O’Hara from Empire Magazine also appreciated Jackman’s commitment to entertaining and leaving the audience feeling an old-school musical thrill.

However, not all critics were as enthusiastic. Some critics, while not directly criticizing Jackman’s performance, expressed dissatisfaction with the film’s storytelling and historical inaccuracies. For instance, Matthew Lickona from San Diego Reader felt that the audience was being sold a poptimist bill of goods, implying a lack of authenticity in the film’s portrayal of P.T. Barnum, played by Jackman.


The Greatest Showman tells the story of P.T. Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create the Barnum & Bailey Circus, a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. The film explores Barnum’s journey, from his humble beginnings to his pursuit of a dream that was larger than life. It delves into his personal life, his relationships, and the challenges he faced in his quest to create the greatest show on earth. The film, however, does take artistic liberties with the story, focusing more on the spirit of Barnum’s character and his love for spectacle rather than strictly adhering to historical facts.


Hugh Jackman delivers a stellar performance as P.T. Barnum, bringing to life the showman’s charisma, ambition, and relentless spirit. Jackman’s Barnum is a man of charm and vision, who despite his flaws, inspires both his performers and the audience. Zac Efron, as Phillip Carlyle, a playwright who becomes Barnum’s business partner, and Michelle Williams, as Charity Barnum, P.T. Barnum’s supportive and loving wife, also deliver strong performances. The ensemble cast, including Zendaya as the trapeze artist Anne Wheeler and Keala Settle as the bearded lady Lettie Lutz, add depth and diversity to the narrative, each character embodying the spirit of acceptance and individuality that Barnum’s circus represented.

Cinematography and Music

The cinematography of The Greatest Showman is nothing short of breathtaking. The film’s visual storytelling is as vibrant and dynamic as its narrative, with each frame bursting with color and energy. The circus scenes, in particular, are a visual feast, capturing the grandeur and excitement of the live performances. The film’s use of lighting and color adds depth to the narrative, reflecting the characters’ emotions and the mood of the scene.

The music of The Greatest Showman is one of its standout features. The film’s original songs, composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are catchy, emotive, and perfectly integrated into the narrative. Songs like “This Is Me” and “The Greatest Show” are not just entertaining, but also carry the film’s message of self-acceptance and individuality. The music, much like the film itself, is a celebration of the human spirit and the magic of dreams.

A Celebration of Dreams

The Greatest Showman is as entertaining as it is inspiring. It is a celebration of dreams, diversity, and the magic of the human spirit. Despite its historical inaccuracies, the film delivers a powerful message that resonates with today’s audience. With its vibrant visuals, catchy music, and strong performances, “The Greatest Showman” is indeed a great show worth watching. Whether you’re a fan of musicals, a history buff, or just someone looking for an uplifting and entertaining film, “The Greatest Showman” is a film that promises to captivate and inspire. So step right up and prepare to be dazzled by the greatest show on earth!

The Greatest Showman is a film that celebrates the magic of dreams, the beauty of diversity, and the power of perseverance. It is a vibrant and entertaining spectacle that, much like the circus it portrays, promises to captivate and inspire its audience. Despite some historical inaccuracies and a somewhat romanticized portrayal of P.T. Barnum, the film delivers a powerful message of inclusivity and self-belief that resonates with today’s audience. With its stunning visuals, catchy original songs, and strong performances, “The Greatest Showman” is indeed a great show worth watching.

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