The ‘Greatest’ Review

Grace Brosnan, Creative Writing Editor

If there was one movie I was looking forward to in 2017, it was The Greatest Showman. Ever since the first trailer was released in June and I accidentally stumbled across it on Youtube, one song captivated my ears. The song, “This is Me.” Well that, and the fact that Zac Efron was leading in another musical after all these years. But as soon as I saw these clips mixed together in a two minute trailer, I knew this was going to be something magical. And boy was I right.

The Greatest Showman is an original musical that was written by the songwriters of La La Land, Justin Paul, Justin Hurwity and Ben Hasek. Many people were discouraged by the fact that this movie was original just because original movies are sometimes hard to develop, let alone to throw in a musical on top of that, so people were terrified. Hugh Jackman spent seven years trying to develop this masterpiece because of how much approval was  needed to get a green light on the project. And thank God he kept pushing for it because this soundtrack gave me a new outlook on life and I am incredibly grateful for it. If you ask me for my favorite song of the track, I literally cannot answer because I just love every one. From “This is Me” to “From Now On” and “Come Alive,” each song is just so exhilarating, they literally make you want to come out of your seat and start dancing along with them. They’re just so unique and really speak to you on a new level. This movie deserves every nomination and more for this soundtrack because it just never gets old (it’s been on repeat in my house for this whole week and I might be listening to it as I’m writing this…). After doing some research about the movie, I found out the writers of La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen had written the music so if that’s not a reason to see this movie, I don’t know what is.

Not only was the music amazing, but the actual performances were incredible as well. Each number was compelling to watch and obviously had a lot of work and heart put into each dance. They just made you want to dance along with them and join the circus. One performance in particular that really hit my heart was “Rewrite the Stars” that was sung and performed by Zac Efron and Zendaya. This scene was both Efron and Zendaya’s characters trying to vocalize that they love each other and the way it was portrayed was incredible. The movie tackled many issues throughout our world and in that particular time period, and their particular story touched upon interracial relationships and how it was forbidden. The two are singing together and are wrapped up in ropes, pulling apart and together and it just makes your heart wrench. The way the scene was filmed was so aesthetically pleasing and just made you want to root for these characters even more. It was one of the more emotional portions of the movie that has been replaying in my head since the first time I saw it (yes, I saw the movie twice).

Another thing that I also loved about the movie was its characters. Each character was compelling and displayed a powerful story that can touch anyone who would watch the movie. Each story was different and relatable in every way. And if that wasn’t enough, the actors that played the character really put their whole hearts into this story and it really shows on the big screen. Between Hugh Jackman’s determination for the whole production, Zac Efron’s vocal and dance moves coming to light once again, Zendaya’s newly learned trapeze skills, and Keala Settle’s incredible singing voice, you can see how much effort and passion was poured into each performance.

The critics have given The Greatest Showman  very mixed reviews. Critics are saying it’s too showy, or targeted towards the younger audience, but when I get on social media such as Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, I have not seen a bad review from teenagers and adults posting about it. Many people review it as a wonderful movie that they would want to see again. Seeing how much this movie touched other people on social media really makes me happy because even if the critics don’t care for it, it’s not about them. People are responding to it in a positive way and that’s what really matters: how it affects people rather than how critics who never seem to like anything respond.

This movie really made me want to start to celebrate me. It portrayed that being different and believing in yourself is the most important thing and that I am not alone. There are so many people that feel the same way as I do. The Greatest Showman was a perfect watch to ring in both the holiday season and the new year, and now that it is available to stream, I cannot wait to watch it again. It touched my heart in a way that no movie had this year and I am incredibly grateful that I had the chance to fall in love with it twice. I honestly rate The Greatest Showman 10/10.