I have no problem reviewing books, but have typically steered clear of reviewing movies. This is due largely to there are enough blogs out there that review and critique the film industry. Why should my opinion count in this most selective of fields? And I mostly want to keep the focus of Damask Raven on silk and sewing. Yet I find I am unable to stop thinking about The Greatest Showman.
I was a little ambivalent about this movie owing to some early conceptions about PT Barnum. Then I read a review from an unexpected area, Fee.org. This made me think I should at least go watch the movie. And I am ever so glad I did.
Telling the start of PT Barnum’s circus, this movie is a love song to the entrepreneurial spirit. While certainly set in the 19th century, when PT Barnum started his eponymous circus, the costuming is not historical. It nods to the early Victorian era, but made no pretenses to accuracy, instead choosing to highlight the overarching story in glorious vibrant color. All of which was underscored by a fantastic soundtrack.
The movie is, yes, a musical. And the original score is fantastic, filled with heart pumping rhythms and gorgeous harmonies, easy to sing along with. I may or may not have purchased the soundtrack. I may or may not listen to this everyday to get me psyched up about chasing my own dreams. Musicals tend to be hit or miss with me, but this one was a solid strike. The songs promote and advance the story line, moving everything along to the finish, when I just kind of wanted to stay and watch it again.
So yes, I loved this movie. I loved how it told a story of chasing your dreams, pivoting when needed, and becoming everything you can be. It told important lessons on focusing on your strengths and not chasing public opinion. On being true to your own vision. This light telling made me want to learn more about PT Barnum and what other lessons I might be able to learn from him. Which is everything a good story should do. It should leave you wanting to know more, to keep seeing through the eyes of the characters involved. In this, The Greatest Showman lived up to it’s name.