Renegade Review: The Greatest Showman

Ms. Rebecca Amy, Advisor

“Celebrates the birth of show business, and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.” – The description from

I admit I was skeptical when I first learned this movie was a musical, but knowing veteran actor Hugh Jackman was playing the lead assured me that I was in for a good show.

The film tells the story of P.T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. It is a romantic portrayal of the beginning of Barnum’s life from the inception and evolution of the circus, right up to the point where Barnum finally finds a home under the Big Top Tent. The writers took creative liberties with the real facts of Barnum’s travels.

Zac Efron, who is noted for his role in High School Musical, as well as other Disney Channel Original Movies, acted and sang with such conviction and skill that he more than held his own against Jackman’s powerful voice and dynamic personality. He plays the privileged and bored socialite that throws everything away to join Barnum in his venture/adventure.

Zendaya, a relative newcomer of musical show business, made quite an impression as the alluring trapeze artist. She plays the love interest of Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron), a relationship that would never work out in real life during the film’s 1850’s time period.

My personal favorite character and the biggest voice in the film belongs to Lettie Lutz, the bearded lady played by Keala Settle. “About the ‘This Is Me’ dance number in The Greatest Showman: We actually had all of Janet [Jackson]’s dancers, all of Pink’s dancers, all of Beyoncé’s dancers and all of Gaga’s dancers backing me up in ‘This Is Me.’ So when we did that first rehearsal, I cried [to them], ‘You are making my dreams come true right now.’,” said Settle on her IMDB profile. (Click here for her whole bio)

Four-time Oscar Nominee Michelle Williams was virtually transformed into the beautiful heiress that leaves everything behind to follow Barnum into life on a “tightrope.” She has one of those faces that makes you forget you are watching Williams and she takes you straight into the character.

I immediately came home and downloaded the soundtrack to the movie, which contained all new and original music. My favorite songs are, “This Is Me” and “Rewrite the Stars”, but I enjoy every song on the album. I also preordered the movie on Amazon and cannot wait to show it during this year’s PARCC testing!

Click here to see the trailer for the movie!