Movie Review of The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is a musical based on the life of P.T. Barnum. The movie is rated PG and suitable for most audiences. I enjoyed the songs in the movie, and even bought the soundtrack. My kids also loved the songs.

The plot is P.T. Barnum’s desire to provide for his family through his famous circus known for its display of extraordinary people. While drawing great crowds, Barnum’s “Greatest Show” garners him disapproval as a huckster and dealer in “freaks” among the prejudiced aristocracy. This leads him to seek their praise through “legitimate” entertainment in the coloratura Jenny Lind. Adopting aristocratic attitudes and shunning his circus, Barnum heavily indebts himself to begin a tour with Lind who quits, sending Barnum into bankruptcy. He returns home to a wife who is leaving the house. Realizing that he has lost sight of what was most important, he begs his family for forgiveness. His business in shambles, he apologizes to his performers for his attitudes that brought them to ruin. His junior partner then bails him out so that the show can go on. Surprisingly, Barnum does not return to the circus, but to his family leaving the business with his partner.

This movie has great moral messages. First, all people deserve love and respect–even people who are different from us. The Bible teaches us to “honor all people” (1 Peter 2:17), and everyone is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Being prejudiced is sinful (James 2:1-13). Second, family takes priority over worldly business (1 Timothy 5:8). The movie ends with the song “From Now On,” a pledge to “come back home” to family, and implies that the greatest show on earth is the one happening around you – your life with your loved ones.

God bless you, and I love you.

Kevin Cauley