The circus returns to town with “The Greatest Showman”

With backflips, somersaults and a fantastic musical lineup, “The Greatest Showman” has brought entertainment and a classic theme of inclusion to viewers this holiday season.

“The Greatest Showman” is an American period musical drama directed by Michael Gracey, featuring some big Hollywood names such as Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Furguson and Zendaya.

The film is inspired by the story of how P.T. Barnum started the “Barnum and Bailey Circus” and the lives of its attractions. After Barnum is fired from his job as a clerk at a shipping company that goes bankrupt, he takes out a large loan form a bank and uses it to build “Barnum’s American Museum.”

“The Greatest Showman” tells the struggles and triumphs of this household name in creating the show and the P.T. Barnum that we know today.

The film received mixed reviews with an approval rating of 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, averaging at a 5.9/10.

The focus on this slice of Barnum’s life seemed to be a point where critics felt the film fell short. Barnum, critics argue, led a much more interesting and intriguing real-life story. Though, the film entertains its audience with a story about an iconic name.

Barnum was entertainment and “The Greatest Showman” does his name justice, even if that means not portraying every ounce of his life in an hour and 45 minutes. Though, arguably, there is a superficial sense that could have been avoided with a tad more care and development.

The underlying message, too, seemed to rub some critics the wrong way, calling it “faux inspiring and shallow.”

The theme of inclusion, acceptance and self-confidence is expected in a film about Barnum’s “freaks.” There truly is nothing wrong about another film with a message about loving each others’ and your own differences. It’s a theme that won’t get old, and “The Greatest Showman” pulls it off.

However, it truly is the musical lineup that makes the film worth watching.

For a musical, the score is certainly inclusive. Whether someone is a huge fan of musicals or someone generally doesn’t enjoy them, the contemporary twist on a very old art form makes it enjoyable for all.

Each track is something that could be heard on the radio today and no one would really question it. “A Million Dreams” has an assortment of clever lyrics and a great beat, where “This Is Me” holds a very contemporary message while not making it blatantly a piece for “The Greatest Showman.”

The best component of the film was certainly come from the soundtrack. It’s an album that someone can download and listen to while not having to attribute it to the film, which is a great a quality to have.

It creates a piece of the experience that can be enjoyed in other ways, not just in this one moment.

“The Greatest Showman” is entertainment with a heartfelt storyline and message. Though receiving mixed reviews, the film lives up to the sense of entertainment and wonder that P.T. Barnum strived for.

Rating: 3/5 stars