January 18, 2018

See beyond history: 5 reasons why you should watch The Greatest Showman

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  • For Filipinos not versed in American history, the name Phineas Taylor Barnum is just that: a name. A quick search on Google, however, yields a variety of facts about the famed circus owner and self-proclaimed “Prince of Humbugs.”

    Some of these include how he started the now-closed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, his many cons before starting the circus with his partner James Bailey, and his short-lived career as a politician.

    Hugh Jackman stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “The Greatest Showman.”

    You’ll find a handful of these in the movie The Greatest Showman, which stars Hugh Jackman as the legendary 19th-century impresario and showman alongside Zac Efron, who plays Barnum’s protege and business partner Philip Carlyle; Zendaya, who plays pink-haired trapeze artist Anne Wheeler; and Rebecca Furgeson, who plays the 19th-century soprano Jenny Lind.

    Most of what you’ll read about the film won’t be good, and I’m fine with that. However, don’t let that turn you away from watching what might be one of the better film musicals you’ve seen.

    Here are five reasons why you should watch The Greatest Showman once it hits theaters on January 31:

    You get to see (and hear) Hugh Jackman in a different light. Most of you may be familiar with Hugh Jackman’s pipes from watching the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables. Most of us have heard him sing from this video:

    Not that a great representation, but you get the point, right?/VIDEO The Jonathan Ross Show on YouTube

    Yes, the man played Gaston in a local (keyword: Australia) production of Beauty and The Beast, so he has the pipes. You’ll get to hear more of these pipes in The Greatest Showman as he plays the role of P.T. Barnum.

    The dancing is on point. I’m a fan of movement. It doesn’t matter if it’s parkour, tricking, gymnastics, or dance; if it showcases how capable the human body is at moving, I’m all for it. The Greatest Showman has that in bunches; actually, it’s the bulk of the film.

    The cast did a great job executing each of Ashley Wallen’s carefully choreographed dance numbers to perfection.

    The choreography you’ll see in The Greatest Showman is on point. The moves may be modern, but every step lends itself to the story of P.T. Barnum and his band of circus acts. Hats off to Ashley Wallen, ladies and gents.

    Wait for what I like to call “the linen scene,” glimpses of which can be seen in the movie’s official trailer. Speaking of dancing,

    The songs will get stuck in your head. If you’ve seen La La Land (which I haven’t), I’m sure you’ll get that vibe as you’re watching The Greatest Showman, what with Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul penning the songs for the film.

    Combined with the choreography, their compositions bring the original musical’s story out of its pages and into your head. If you want a taste of what’s to come in the movie, you may want to start listening to this Spotify playlist right now.

    The movie is nothing like what you’ve read about P.T. Barnum. A lot of people are sticklers for historical accuracy, but this film isn’t a biopic. It isn’t advertised as one, either. Yes, The Greatest Showman is based on the life of P.T. Barnum, but it doesn’t tell his life story blow by blow.

    It has ruffled feathers in the US (they know about him more than we do), but what it will do is open your eyes to what he went through just to succeed world of show business.

    Life lessons aplenty. You’ll get life lessons from Disney films, yes, but The Greatest Showman gives you these in bunches you’ll understand.

    From leadership to taking risks, you’ll find that this version of P.T. Barnum is like your dad, uncle, or granddad who’s been through a lot in his life and is more than willing to share his experience. Plus points if your dad, uncle, or granddad has a flair for showbiz as much as P.T. Barnum.

    One of the bigger lessons you’ll learn from The Greatest Showman is to never do things for the critics, lest you dig yourself a hole you’ll probably never get out of. Don’t believe me? Watch The Greatest Showman this January 31 and you’ll see what I mean.


    Written by Andronico Del Rosario

               
               
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