Cue the music to the first song that sucks you into the story. Singing, “this is the greatest show!” And boy it was! The movie is a re-telling of a famous story (albeit fictional and historically inaccurate in many ways) about a very famous man who will live on forever. Especially in the hearts of true circus admirers. The story of P.T. Barnum, the greatest showman on earth.
From the musical scores to the dancing numbers, the storyline and emotional twists, this film literally transported me into another world! This is a feeling I only get when at the circus itself, and yet this film, in a sticky floored theater, has the ability to give me the same exact feeling. Powerful is the word that comes to mind. Yes, the film has inaccuracies, but the historical events were retold in an entertaining way that I’m sure Barnum would have approved.
This film comes at a perfect time for us circus folk. Not too long ago, the 146 year old legend itself, Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey circus closed its curtain for the last time. Leaving fans and circus artists with tears in their eyes and an elephant sized hole in their hearts. This film is a way for the legendary circus, the greatest show on earth, to remain alive and thriving. The show must go on. Just in a different way.
This film is exactly what our society needs. There’s a quote in the movie where a high-and-mighty critic mentions to Barnum that the circus has people from all shapes and sizes, colors, and talents. It’s a “celebration of humanity.” That right there is what the circus is about! A celebration of humanity! Where people from all walks of life, those who are bullied for being different, outcasts, weirdos, freaks... all can come to this one place they finally feel like they belong. A sensation you only get when you truly can say the words, “I’m home at last.” The circus is home to many and we love sharing it with you. This is what our world needs. To adopt the philosophy of the circus. Where we can all shine with our own level of brightness and yet still get the job done. To accept others for breaking the norm rather than putting them down. A celebration of humanity is what we need, and not a war zone like we currently have.
From the very beginning to the very end, this film gave me flashbacks to my circus life. Gave me a new found inspiration (I’m even writing a blog about it right now!). Reminded me what i’m a part of and why I’m a part of it.
In a time we need the circus the most, as the legend itself closed...this is the path we must take. To keep the story alive and to “dream with our eyes wide open.” I highly recommend watching the film. Watch it more than once. Download the songs and sing them out loud. Let’s show the world the power of the circus! You don’t need to be in the ring or even in a physical circus troupe to be in the circus. Allow me to officially welcome you into the family. Just a fair warning...we’re a little weird. ;)