Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
Music in the Bible
Songs in the Bible
Are there things that the real P.T. Barnum did that bent rules or laws, or did things that were deceptive, wrong or immoral?
How can I know what is RIGHT and WRONG? Answer
How can I discern whether a particular activity is WRONG? Answer
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
What is RIGHTEOUSNESS? Answer
|Featuring:||Hugh Jackman … P.T. Barnum
Zac Efron … Phillip Carlyle
Michelle Williams … Charity Barnum
Zendaya … Anne Wheeler—an acrobat, trapeze artist, and W.D.’s sister
Rebecca Ferguson … Jenny Lind—a famous Swedish singer
Paul Sparks … James Gordon Bennett—the founder, editor and publisher of the New York Herald
Keala Settle … The Bearded Woman
Gayle Rankin … Queen Victoria
Natasha Liu Bordizzo … Deng Yan
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II … WD Wheeler—an acrobat and Anne’s brother
Austyn Johnson … Caroline Barnum—daughter of P.T. Barnum
Sam Humphrey … Charles Stratton—a dwarf performer also known by his stage name of General Tom Thumb
Jacqueline Honulik … Baroque Woman
See all »
See all »
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
“The Impossible Comes True!”
“The Greatest Showman” stars Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, the mastermind behind The Greatest Show on Earth. The film opens in true musical style, then flashes back to a young Barnum. We see an impoverished youth, son of a tailor with upper class clients. It’s at the home of a client where he meets a beautiful young girl. He makes her laugh and is forbidden from seeing her again by her father. But soon they are doing just that. We learn her name is Charity, and they start a pen pal relationship that blossoms. All the while, Barnum yearns for more than the life of a poor man’s son.
The plot is brilliantly consistent and easy to follow. Plus the music is pleasant, catchy and memorable. Hugh Jackman, who has a strong Broadway background, brings that enthusiasm and versatility to the screen—acting, singing and dancing—and it is wonderful. Michelle Williams plays Charity Barnum and makes a satisfactory contribution to the film aside Hugh. Zac Efron plays Phillip Carlyle, and brings his “High School Musical” background to the film. The remainder of the cast truly makes the film whole—each bringing a unique piece to the cast puzzle and creating a magnificent motion picture.
With all the amusing attractions (pun intended) of the film, there are a few details that Christian viewers ought to be aware of. Barnum’s characters does dishonest things to achieve his dreams, he was known as a purveyor of hoaxes and a deceiver and an exploiter of people with unique oddities—some of which was portrayed honestly in the film. There is a scene where Barnum is tempted by another woman. Women are showed with revealing clothes; cleavage is shown and male is shirtless. There is also violence shown—from slapping a child—to an all out fistfight among men. Hatred of people who look different was a consistent tagline of the the film—from a woman with facial hair to people with different skin color. This behavior is not condoned. Drinking is shown with enthusiasm as an indulgence and a coping mechanism.
Now for the biblical aspects, the film doesn’t address God directly, but there are some truths that can be derived. The hatred of people who look different is easily remedied by a Christian worldview; there is but one race—the human race—which was created by the One True God.
P.T. Barnum’s life was not an easy one, but he persevered to his great worldly success. As Christians, we too are not guaranteed an easy life, in fact, the Bible says explicitly that we will suffer for our faith.
Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? —1 Peter 4:15-17
Our suffering will not bring us worldly success or fortune, but everlasting life through Christ Jesus! Triumph over adversity and the value of helping make other people’s lives happier and more bearable, when we can, are lessons that can be taken from this film.
As for my recommendation, with the knowledge and discernment of what to expect, I would recommend it. Overall, the acting and cinematography is light-hearted and fun. We left the theater wanting to listen to the soundtrack and ultimately wanting to see it again.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.