Every once in a while, comes out a movie which scores anthem for the underdogs and the fools who dream (pun intended if you understand the reference).
I personally have always admired and loved musicals, starting with Disney movies back then, which were my favorite kind of movies.
Nowadays, it’s hard to find a good movie, especially because there are so much that come out at the same time.
I have to admit, I knew the movie was gonna come out in December, but I had no intention of listening to the songs before I saw it.
Then, as it happened, Kesha released a cover of one of the songs, and I decided to check it out because Kesha is bae forever (she made a triumphant come back last year, and I’ve been listening to Rainbow on repeat since this summer). And the song, I thought, was well adapted to her and to what she’d been through (but I’ll talk more about it in the rest of the review).
And guess what…
I listened to the whole soundtrack. In one straight listen.
And I was so fucking happy.
This soundtrack made me so happy, that since December, I’ve been listening to it on repeat and trying to find a moment to see the movie.
BUT (drama drama drama) I’ve been so busy moving over in the UK during January and February that I had no time to see it and only ended up going last week. And believe me, if I can, I’ll go see it again in the upcoming week. Cause it was THAT good.
Let me sum it up for you without spoiling anything.
The Greatest Showman is the story of PT Barnum, who fell in love with a girl and promised her the world. After years of being together and building a family, PT thinks of ways to get richer as he wants the best for his family, and after some misadventures, looks for extraordinary people to put up a show. But as you know, fame and wealth can get to your head and not in a good way. Especially when you start putting aside people who were there from the start.
I really enjoyed both the story and the songs. To be honest, and I’m not saying this as a criticism, I thought the movie was too fast-paced and it was good cause I didn’t see the time pass by ! But at the same time, I was like “I NEED MORE, IT WAS TOO QUICK OF A MOVIE”.
My favorite characters are Anne Wheeler (played by the beautiful Zendaya), Lettie Lutz (played by the gorgeous Keala Settle) and of course, Charity Barnum (played by the amazing Michelle Williams).
Why ? I’m gonna tell you in a few reasons !
SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVENT SEEN THE MOVIE YET !
Anne is a mixed afro-american, who has different hair colour and texture and has to face the looks of other people. Keep in mind that the movie’s set in the end of the 1800’s so that says a lot about the mentality back then (and it also has an arc in the theme of the songs, coming up next !). Her duo with Zac Efron is one of my favorite ever, and they had an amazing chemistry ! I was looking forward to seeing them !
Lettie is a bearded lady, who has a powerful voice, and is shuned behind closed doors as not to scare other people. Her song This Is Me has officially become an anthem to all underdogs being different and proud out there !
Charity Barnum is one of my favorite characters also (though her solo song wasn’t one of my favorite but it was good still), because, you see, she fell in love as a kid. She stuck to that love. She didn’t care about money, she only cared about her love for the person she fell for. And she stood by him through thick and thin.
In the end, the three characters represent the diversity of the show, and that’s why I liked them the most.
Now onto the songs !
STILL DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS
A Million Dreams.
Where to begin ? The song title says it all. It’s the story of anyone who’s ever had a dream and sings about it. It almost reminds me of “The Fools Who Dream” in La La Land (which was my ultimate favorite movie last year and soundtrack wise too). It might be explained by the fact that both songs have been written by the same pair of writers. And you know what ? They do make me dream with this song ! Mission accomplished ! Think I’ll sing this song forever now, thank you !
You also see evolving the relationship between Charity and PT and see them grow up, which proves that you’re never too old to dream and you should never give up on your dreams ! Bonus is: when PT is with his daughters and they sing the song together played softly on piano, and I admit, I shed a tear there.
This Is Me
As I said before, this song is a real anthem to the underdogs, and I’ll never say it enough. It’s everything. The song themes are acceptance, being different, being broken, and also being strong enough to love yourself and deserving love no matter what or who you are.
Lettie’s powerful performance comes after PT Barnum holds a reception regarding his newfound gem (a new singer) and he shuts the gang’s out of the reception. After that, being heartbroken, the whole of them follow Lettie as she sings this incredible call-out to accepting your differences and making them your strengths.
I hadn’t cried as much in a movie for a long time. And this was the second song that made me cry. But to someone like me, who’s always been overweight, gay, and outcast because of what I liked or who I liked, this song meant everything.
And honestly, I wished I’d had a song like that back in high school when my bullies made me feel like shit. I might not have stood up to them, but I would’ve felt less alone.
Rewrite The Stars
This is the third song that made me cry in the movie, and I swear I wasn’t planning to. I had listened to it so much before, I knew I was liking it and I was looking forward to seeing the performance, but not knowing the backstory to it, I just had the image of the couple’s performance. Now, I know what the song means and it’s even stronger than any other song. Call me a hopeless romantic, but this song is about star-crossed lovers, who at the time couldn’t be together because one was a heir to a wealthy family and white, and she was a mixed-girl, artist and with different coloured hair. They both fell for each other and ended up fighting the odds and being together no matter what (of course a while after this song, where would be the fun if that was the song that got them together). But it’s definitely the song where they say “I love you” to each other, and what better way than to imagine being able to rewrite the stars (such poetry, I’m dying).
The fact that the song starts by an a-capella Zac Efron and end up in an a-capella Zendaya is just the best thing in the world. And it really adds strength to the song as well, as it shows the determination in both of them to be together even if everybody else (aka laws or time back then) say they shouldn’t. FORBIDDEN LOVE, WHO’S NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE AMIRIGHT ?
Overall, the movie lived up to the hype it built up for itself. I had seen the trailer, and I knew I wanted to see it, but I was skeptical, mostly because Zac Efron. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved him since High School Musical so I knew he could sing, but the last movies he’s been in were either comedies or romance, and I hadn’t seen a character that had as much depth for him in a while, so I’m glad the movie reconciled me with.
And also, I’m so used to see Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, that I can’t see him in anything else, and seeing him in that, being smiley, funny and singing, gave me a whole other view of him !
Of course, I’m glad the movie made me discover other persons like Keala Settle who I’ll be closely paying attention to now, and of course Ziv Zaifman who provides the singing for young PT.
If you haven’t yet, please go watch this movie. I promise you won’t be disappointed !