The Greatest Showman Soundtrack Wows Audiences



The Greatest Showman presents the rags-to-riches story of P.T. Barnum, founder of the first circus. Despite its overly optimistic portrayal of Barnum, the movie musical’s songs and over-the-top theatrics are leaving audiences as excited as a child under the big top for the first time.

The film has an all-star cast — Hugh Jackman as Barnum, along with Zac Efron, Michele Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. The songs come from duo Pasek & Paul, the lyricists responsible for the critically acclaimed movie La La Land and the Tony-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. After the success of La La Land, Hollywood has been more willing to produce movie-musicals, and the release of The Greatest Showman is evident of this.

“I have listened to all of Pasek & Paul’s soundtracks, so I would definitely say I am a fan of their work,” Junior Jessica Hyland said. “Their songs are catchy and very interesting, and I think you can listen to and enjoy the music without having to see the movie along with it.”

The song “This is Me”, sung by Keala Settle, won the Golden Globe for best original song. Sung by the circus “freaks”, it is about how they refuse to hide in the shadows for being different.

“‘This is Me’ is my favorite song from the soundtrack because it is so inspiring,” sophomore Tommy Johnson said. “It’s all about being an individual, and not caring what others think so that you are free to be yourself, and I really enjoy the message of it.”

While the movie is music is getting rave reviews, the film has been criticized for its unrealistic portrayal of P.T. Barnum, who was accused of exploiting people’s irregularities, disabilities, and deformities.

The movie glosses over many parts of Barnum’s real life, and creates its own story and characters; Efron and Zendaya’s characters are both fictitious, as well as the love story between them.

Junior Olivia Shoenly said she did not mind the inaccuracies. She enjoyed it because she was in the mood for something positive after 2017 being a rough year.

The movie gave “hope with a message of friendship, love, and accepting yourself,” she said. “A movie doesn’t have to be realistic to be enjoyable, even if it is a ‘biography’.”

Freshman Abby Rice said the music made up for the poor plot, as did its talented cast.

“The movie soundtrack is almost better than the movie itself,” she said. “Also, Zac Efron does a great job.”