Hugh Jackman The Greatest Showman
As I set out to talk about the captioned subject on the basis of my suddenly taken decision to go on a beautiful winter afternoon of the second day of January to the theater to catch the musical The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, a decision which I can confidently say that I don’t regret at all, and that such a decision on your part will be suitably wise if you wish to take it 🙂
I can say that I am not fond of musicals much, even though there are so many award winning and worth mentioning ones made in my generation, but still I decided to go and give The Greatest Showman a try, not just only because it is a musical, it is a loosely tried yet brilliantly portrayed on the life of the great showman P. T. Barnum of the United States, but because Hugh Jackman portrayed the character and I wanted to see that as I was not aware that Hugh is a talented stage musical star.
And, I can say without a single doubt, that I left the movie hall deeply satisfied, wowed, and feeling happy all through from the brilliant spectacle of whatever I saw. It firmly instilled in me the caption that Hugh Jackman is indeed The Greatest Showman.
Hugh Jackman Plays Phileas Taylor Barnum
Ok, before I go into what the movie did to my senses and the details of it, let’s just take a peek into the history part of it, or at least a brief look on who P. T. Barnum was, on whom this movie has been themed upon. Born in Connecticut in the eighteenth century, P. T. Barnum, son of a tailor, was a small business in his early twenties and worked small errands in newspapers and firms before embarking on a showman career, and in the entertainment industry, founded a travelling circus, acquired several performers, and revolutionized the art and entertainment scene in that period of USA with his showmanship, in difficult circumstances, and resorting in not so mentionable ways to build on his empire of museum of the freaks, hipsters and theaters in the most flamboyant style.
P. T. Barnum was also a politician, author, publisher and philanthropist. But in his heart and heart, he was an outright entertainer, and created his massive empire of circus, theaters and museums involving and employing[sometimes even purchasing and leasing] entertainers from the bizarre and macabre, but ultimately spreading the message of love and happiness that is what the entertainment industry is all about.
His life is checkered, colorful, and more or less the perfect conman of sorts, as he was faced with the heavy criticism of making money with the fakes. But what makes him what he is, the ability to please general people from all walks of life, attracting them in large numbers to his establishments, even attracting celebrities and famous entertainers like the talented Swedish nightingale Jenny Lind, whom he invited and hired at a premium, to give several shows in the States with her amazing vocal prowess, and he making almost $500,000 in the 1850’s from Jenny Lind’s shows alone, till she severed her ties with him and decided to go on her own. P. T. Barnum, was and will be the Greatest Showman indeed.
The Greatest Showman Hugh Jackman and party
Now the movie and a reality check. Trust me, as I have always said, I don’t rely on critics’ reviews, I watch the movie myself and share what I felt after seeing it. And I can say this to you without doubt, that from the opening scene to the credits at the end, this movie is a bundle of joys, sorrows, wows, a visual and an aural treat. The movie is somewhat fictionalized even in it’s attempt to be in close proximity to the life of Barnum, and the fictional inclusions are not at all out of place, as they blend perfectly within the story line. Hugh Jackman, is outright brilliant in the portrayal, and I strongly declare that no one could have done it better. His towering persona, dancing and singing skills, and his deep baritone along with his acting brilliance brings alive the showman as he is himself and he takes the movie along on his shoulders. But the rest of the stellar cast did an amazing job too and worth mentioning every bit. Let’s see who the main cast are and how they fit into the movie.
Michelle Williams as Charity Barnum plays the showman’s wife, childhood friend and the strength behind his struggles and everything, and Williams does a jolly good job for the same. Next, and the most prominent role of theater actor and showman himself, Phillip Carlyle, played by the very talented and well know Zac Efron, who becomes Barnum’s partner in the movie, love interest of the beautiful trapeze artist Anne Wheeler, played by the once again very talented Zendaya, and they both sang, danced, romanced to their glory and remain together even in the face of adversities in the form of Carlyle’s parents who were totally against their union. Then comes the most prominent presence of the unique bearded woman in Barnum’s troop, Lettie Lutz, played by Keala Settle, and played to her best, emotional, strong, commanding with her singing and dancing, she provided strength and reliability to Barnum’s team to her best. And who can escape or ignore the amazing performance of the famous Tom Thumb, the shortest man to walk on earth, played by Sam Humphrey. On his reluctance to join Barnum’s troops, Tom Thumb got the non chalant response from Barnum “People are gonna laugh at you anyways, so why not get paid for it ?”, and that will stay in my mind for a long time. And then comes the beautiful Swedish nightingale with a golden voice, Jenny Lind, wonderfully played by Rebecca Ferguson, from the Mission Impossible Rogue Nation fame. Rebecca Ferguson for a moment fell for Hugh as Barnum, on their tour expeditions through various lands, and gave an emotional performance of her song Never Enough, on being politely refused by Barnum, who realized that both were becoming distractions for each other. Thus, these were the main characters in the movie, along with host of other talented performers portraying various other characters throughout the movie with amazing talents and screen presence, making the cast really stellar.
The Movie and the Music Hugh Jackman and his Team enthralls at every moment
Here are some point wise details why this movie according to me is one of the best musicals made in recent times and why I was left awed and wowed at the end.
- Brilliant direction by Michael Gracey, music video maestro made his presence felt with amazing cinematography.
- Academy Award winning lyricists Benj Pasek and Justine Paul of the La La Land fame gave full justice to the brilliant and original movie soundtrack with absolutely stunning music and songs.
- Screen play by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon is tight and gorgeous, dreamy and ethereal, edge of the seat and keeps the viewers glued to the musical.
- The brilliant visuals, the amazing dance choreographs and some really big songs, makes things cosy and very much relevant in this original music drama. Hugh Jackman and team showed that they can do a pretty handsome job on the songs, as this soundtrack is a must listen, and being a music lover, I am aurally wowed.
- And ultimately the acting of this stellar cast, is something which must be seen to be believed, and no wonder the film has already got some nominations at the Golden Globe.
- But, award nominations or no nominations, the movie touched hearts, the message was sent out right, and people will love this one as a complete wholesome family entertainer at this time of the festive part of the year, all kudos to Hugh Jackman and his team.
The theme song of this movie will be This Is Me, performed by Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman ensemble, is big, powerful and uplifting and is one of the best songs among the full array of 12 very strong and utterly beautiful songs. Do listen to the soundtrack and you will not regret it at all.
My final verdict according to my viewing and listening experience is full marks with 10/10. I had gone to the movie with no expectations, no knowledge about the story, no experience in seeing previous musicals, but left with deeply profound happiness and joy in my heart 🙂