The Greatest Showman, a musical biographical film, tells the story of P.T. Barnum, a struggling, poor boy who rose from humble beginnings to create a spectacular circus show that captured the hearts of audiences around the world.
Barnum, grew up as a labourer’s child and always looked at the rich with envy. He noticed the discrepancy between the rich and the poor and hated being treated as ‘not good enough’. He was a very smart boy with a great imagination. He married Charity, a girl from a wealthy family, and right from the beginning, promised her that he was going to give her a life of great luxury and comfort.
Although Charity was happy just having a family filled with love, Barnum was not content. When he lost his job, he deviously managed to get a bank loan and rented a building. He recruited a group of talented performers, who were social outcasts, to join his circus and created a spectacle that later become known as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Despite facing criticism and opposition from society’s elites, Barnum’s show became a massive success, and he became wealthy and famous. However, as Barnum’s fame and fortune grew, he began to lose sight of what was truly important. He became obsessed with his show and his own success, neglecting his family and the performers who helped him achieve it all.
This theme is a crucial one in the film, highlighting the dangers of making our dreams our idols. It’s essential to have dreams and goals to aspire to, but when we become too fixated on them, we risk losing sight of what truly matters in life. Our relationships with our loved ones, our values, and our character can all be compromised if we let our dreams consume us entirely.
Barnum finally reaches rock bottom when he loses everything – his wealth, his family, and his reputation. There’s a scene at the end, where his friends confront him about what he is doing and about what really matters in life. It’s at that point that Barnum, realises where he went wrong. He takes responsibility for his actions, and stops playing the victim. He goes after his wife and family, apologises to his friends, and starts from scratch again.
Many times, while following our dreams, we can lose track, or go down a wrong path. It’s at those times, that’s it is essential for us to hear the voices of those around us, who love us and care for us, with humility admit where we went wrong, take responsibility for our actions and realign our dreams.
Barnum’s journey serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of balance and perspective. He learns that success means nothing if he doesn’t have the support and love of those around him. The movie encourages us to chase our dreams while staying grounded to our relationships.
Written by Priyanka George