I’ve tackled book reviews, theatre shows, trips to museums and galleries — but now it’s time to try a different genre.
I always advocate that the book is better than the film — but what about those films not based on books? The stories that use this platform as a unique story telling experience, and one that can only do it justice.
The Greatest Showman (2017)
The Greatest Showman is a cinematic experience from start to finish, visually exciting, the music embodies the tale; enhancing the feeling the story conveys. The music is a triumph that stays with you long after the final credits. There are dreams of a better future, fantasies that can come true and a mindset that the world is yours to take . A message that seems very poignant today.
Yet there are a few downsides to this dream-state world — each issue in the storyline is quickly resolved — making life appear perfect. The gambles of every decision seem insignificant as the reward is instant. A theme that certainly wasn’t true in the real life of P.T. Barnum, but this can maybe be forgiven in the showmanship of Barnum, he’s a storyteller after all.
For any fan of musical theatre this is a film for you, a chance to see a man live a life of showmanship, regardless of the consequences.
After all, we have P.T.Barnum to thank for the entertainment industry of today — entertainment for everyone, and I think that is something worth seeing.
The Greatest Showman was released in the UK on 26th December.
Going against my better judgement and expectations, I saw the film of Room before even owning let alone reading the book. Beautifully and truthfully told, the film allowed me to see a world much quicker then if I’d wandered around many bookshelves trying to find such a capsulating story. It introduced me to the story I wanted to explore, a book I wanted to read, and a tale that needed to be told.
The film brought me directly into Jack and Ma’s isolated world, physically restraining the life that can be lead in such an imprisonment. Yet, being told through the film, made the situation of their circumstances much easier to navigate through then the book alone can portray; visualising their world and the constraints within it.
Written from the point of view of five-year-old Jack, the book only allows you to understand Room from his eyes; a home not a prison. Likewise the confusion of the life around him is so narrowed by his current experiences it takes a while to understand the tale of Ma’s imprisonment and the world Jack was born into.
It’s a tale of bravery and strength, of a living a life of your own under any and all circumstances. It proves that even in the most unimaginable world, hope can still be found and life lead to the full.
Emma Donoghue captures the confusion this world holds over Jack, and his many new discoveries outside of Room. It certainly made me reevaluate aspects we take for granted, experiences we all share and expectations of a common world.
This is a book to read and a film to view; although one where the story stretches past the last page and into your own life.