The circus was a family affair where you could sit inside a giant circus tent and watch acts be performed before your eyes. Beneath the glam and wonder, lies a deeper meaning to the actors performing for the audience. The circus were the first versions of freak shows creating unique acts for the spectator’s amusement. The Greatest Showman shows that everyone wants to find a place where they belong.
In the late nineteenth century, Barnum was nothing more than a tailor’s son with dreams for the future. He plans to steal Charity from her noble life and create a better future for them. His idea is to create The Greatest Show on Earth, trying his idea at first with a museum before finding performers that society had labelled freaks to take part in his show. Along the way, he learns that even the greatest performer must face their highest success and their greatest failure.
P.T Barum is a man with a dream of giving his love Charity and his two girls everything that he thinks they need in life. He is talented and creative with the creations of his shows, yet he is labelled as a con man by the media.
Charity Hallett is Barum’s wife and his support for his dreams. She was raised to be a part of the upper class, but she never felt like she was one of them. She is kind and quiet not allowing her emotions to cloud her judgment.
Phillip Carlyle is a privileged man and successful playwriter until he becomes partners with Barum. He falls in love with Anna and wants the show to be a success, knowing that there is talent in the acts. He is logical and uses reason to fix problems and is there to keep his partner’s ideas from going to far outside the box.
Anne Wheeler is a trapeze artist that is part of the performers found for the show. She is in love with Philip, but knows that they are separated by their places in society. She sees the circus as her family making her loyal to them and fighting for them when mobs try to make them leave.
On the surface, many saw this film as a fictional tale of how Barnum Circus came into creation, yet there is more to the tale than raising a circus tent. The story is about a husband trying to give his daughters a better future then the one he grew up with.
A group of performers that are considered the freaks of society, and a rich boy seeing that money does not reflect what lies beneath the surface. I would give the film a nine out of ten rating, for the outstanding musical numbers and the developed story blending the tales of many into one.
My favorite song is This is Me song by the Bearded Lady. The song is an anthem to those in the world who have been silenced or ignored by others because they were born different from society. The costumes and backdrops made it appear to be a live-action circus yet there are some scenes that break this illusion. Showing the man character fall from grace is expected however, going for the old fame leading to an affair has been overdone, thus making this take away from the rest of the film.
The circus used to be home to all the loners and outcasts in the world; those born with birth defects or labelled as freaks by their community. Thy saw the circus as an escape from the real world. A way to find others like themselves and to be given the chance to show off their talents to the world. The circus was their family and protection from the world that would accept them as nothing more then carnies and children of the big tent.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read