The Greatest Showman: A True Show of Talent

Emma Shaughnessy '20, Sports Editor

Imagine yourself attending the circus with your family. You saunter into a massive red and white striped tent, and the aroma of freshly popped caramel corn fills your nose. To your left, a 3-foot-tall man is breathing fire while riding a unicycle. To your right, an eccentric woman juggles while standing on an elephant. Up above, a young acrobat is jump roping on dangerously thin tightrope. As unrealistic as this spectacle may seem, it is exactly what P.T. Barnum created when he founded Barnum & Bailey Circus.

        Based off of a true story, the movie The Greatest Showman depicts Barnum’s invention of show business, and the struggles he faced in the process. The opening scene shows P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, performing a choreographed dance with his circus entourage. Then the film transitions into the backstory of Barnum’s upbringing. Viewers see him as a young child from a less fortunate family. He has a crush on Charity, a young girl from a well to do family. When they are both of age, P.T. and Charity run off together, get married, and have two beautiful girls. Even though they have little fortune, they are a genuinely happy couple. That all changes when P.T. Barnum is laid off from his job. The family goes through a rough patch and Barnum is distressed because he always pictured a better life for he and his family. That’s when the notion hits him that he should chase his dreams and create a show for people of all ages. After struggling to put his plan into action, Barnum decides to recruit the most unique people he can find, including a woman with a beard and a man entirely covered in tattoos. Barnum creates the show he always dreamed of with exotic animals and insane acts that no one has ever seen before. He finally has the life he always dreamed of, until he gets caught up in a scandal where he puts his family and career at risk. In the end, P.T. Barnum realizes his wrongdoings, makes amends with those he hurt, and starts performing again.

        The Greatest Showman is a great movie for people of all ages, but especially for families. The film teaches many valuable lessons, including how people should be accepting of everyone. They should disregard outer appearances and focus on the beauty within. The movie also inspires people to go after their dreams, no matter how impractical they may seem. Overall, The Greatest Showman is an outstanding movie, and it truly is the “greatest show” you will ever see.