The story begins with a musical number sung by P.T. Barnum, and then goes back to when he was a kid. He meets a girl named Charity, falls in love with her, and she eventually becomes his wife.
Years later, P.T. and Charity have two daughters, Helen and Caroline. P.T. takes his family to a museum of stuffed figures, and then decides to open up a circus. He asks for unique people to perform in his circus, and then his fame picks up from there.
Despite the mixed reviews, the movie ended up pleasing me. The musical numbers were amazing, especially Zac Efron’s (who played Philip the junior assistant) voice having a little hint of Troy Bolton from High School Musical, even though he sounds nothing like Troy anymore.
Other strengths include not only the importance of family, but also the acceptance of different people. I was impressed how P.T. longed for unique people, such as an exceptionally tall man as well as a very short guy, and a bearded lady.
Although others misunderstood those people, I admired how P.T. taught them to accept themselves for who they were and not to be ashamed of that. But I believe the writers of this film changed that based on what had actually happened in real life.
In the scene following Helen’s ballet performance, I must admit that the formality of their recital was unusual. After the show, the people mingled in a rotunda and servants passed around alcohol. But that could have been typical then.
While this film had a good number of perks, some parts didn’t please me. One includes Charity’s father slapping P.T. when he was a child for causing Charity to drool on her dress due having strong feelings for her.
Yes, it was a historical period, and I don’t think that would be okay today. In fact, the crew had likely sugarcoated it, compared to what would have happened in the 19th century for two kids to have crushes on each other.
I also found it odd that Charity remained P.T.’s love interest from her youth to her adulthood. Maybe this happened a lot in the 1800’s, but it hardly ever occurs these days. Most people lose touch with their childhood and high school friends by their 20’s.
The movie also had many twists and turns. You’d have to see it to learn what they were.
I give The Greatest Showman 4 out of 5 stars. Some scenes bored me, like if they lagged or didn’t have enough conflict. But the movie still kept my attention for the most part.