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, I thought this movie was pretty good. 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 the importance of family, but especially 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 this was changed based on what had occurred in real life.
Although 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. Still.
Another oddity was how Charity remained P.T.’s love interest from her youth to her adulthood. Maybe this was common in the 1800’s, but it hardly ever happens these days. Most people lose touch with their childhood and high school friends by their 20’s.
Anyway, back to the review. When one of P.T.’s daughters (I can’t remember whom) performs ballet, I must admit that their recital was pretty fancy and unusual. After the show, the people mingle in a rotunda and servants pass around alcohol. But maybe that was typical then.
The movie also had many twists and turns. You’d have to see it to learn what they were.
I would give “The Greatest Showman” 4 out of 5 stars. Something about it did not fully engage me. But it still kept my attention for the most part.