What The Greatest Showman teaches us about young people
The Greatest Showman, It's got all the feels
I have to say, I resisted going to this film for ages, mainly because circuses have always freaked me out a little. I blame a strange experience with a clown when I was younger. So sitting and watching a film about the circus was not my idea of fun, however, lots of people told me that the dancing and the music was brilliant so I caved in.
And the minute it starts you get that tingle, as if you are about to watch a musical. And yes the dancing and music (apart from a few notes from Zac) are brilliant. But I did at times feel uncomfortable, firstly about the circus, and secondly about how the circus puts people on display (but I don't want to have that debate now). But then this uncomfortable feeling was mixed with feeling so happy that these people had found a passion and a place where they belonged. It was exhausting for me personally and I left confused rather than uplifted.
However the young people, or most of them I have spoken to, love it and that got me wondering what it was that had them so intrigued, other than the music and dancing. For me this film touches on three important topics that this generation hold very dear to them; inclusion family and reality.
People are unique
The film at its heart shows all kinds of unique people (and I’m not going to get into the debate of why they didn’t use people who suffer from some of the ailments). It shows them all coming together to achieve something and while you, like me may not agree with the ideals of the circus, this is an inclusive film and this generation is nothing if not inclusive.
Family is at the heart of this film; the Showman's family and the family he creates in the circus, a family that stick by no matter what. This generation is loyal to their family through and through and this was right up their street.
Its all about the feels and the reals
Most importantly for me though and maybe missed by others in all the razzmatazz is the message about how going after the money, the fame and the glory does not automatically make you happy. It pitches the dream against the reality and the reality wins, even if that reality is odd. Also, the showman's search for fame and fortune with something he thinks is real ends up with him realising that what he thought was fake was actually real!
This whole fake versus real and chasing the dream versus reality is something I believe we will see a lot of from this generation, I do believe that they will bring things more into the reality , not that we won't see their glossy instagram lives but we will also see those Snapchat, no make-up selfies.
They want the shiny days of the millennials to end and crave for a more real experience and I think that in some odd way this film gives that to them.