Haymitch Abernathy is known by every single person in Panem as the Drunk Mentor for District 12. One of his most infamous moments is when he took a head-dive off the stage during the reaping for the 74th-Hunger Games. To most he is a fool, a drunk, and a blubbering, staggering idiot. But is that all he is?
If you love Haymitch, you will want to read my chapter on his character titled, “It’s All a Big Show” to learn the truth behind Haymitch’s clandestine motives and hidden agency in a society of “un-reality”!
BONUS: This is one of the GREATEST FAN-MADE videos of content from The Hunger Games. MainstayPro portrayed the Second Quarter Quell in which Haymitch is the winner and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. All images and content from the below video are property of MainstayPro, I am just sharing their magnificent work.
WARNING: Graphic images for young or sensitive viewers.
**********This Post DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS*********
The music of The Greatest Showman is half of its beauty! Yes the movie is wonderful, the plot is strong, and the characters are fantastic, but it is the music that people are most drawn to. Now, I cannot discuss every song in minute detail, otherwise you would all probably click away from this screen in seconds. So let’s just talk about three incredible songs (trying to cut it down to three was really difficult!)
This is one perfect example of some foreshadowing. The movie opens with a song that features stomps, claps, intense moments, and high energy. It seems like the perfect opening talking about triumph and delight. However, half way through the song we come across these words:
“It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you want to be . . .”
In the opening, the song cuts short here with just Hugh Jackman (Barnum) softly singing and repeating these lines to himself as the lights dim, the circus disappears and he is left alone in the dark. This moment foreshadows Barnum’s ultimate conundrum: choosing between his family and the circus.
Now the majority of this song is the repetitious phrase “never enough” which makes it seem like this song is talking about how Barnum can never get enough of the spotlight, never get enough of the praise, etc. And while that may be partly true, it’s important to take another look at the lyrics that lead up to that repetitious chorus.
“You set off a dream with me
Getting louder now
Can you hear it echoing?
Take my hand
Will you share this with me
Cause darling without . . “
When we remember these lines, the song becomes more about the person that Barnum wants to share his world with (his wife). Ultimately, while he continues to grow in popularity, the further he gets from his wife, the less satisfied he is. Because without his wife, “it’ll never be enough.”
“This is Me” (You know I had to talk about this one)
This song is probably the most straightforward song out of the entire movie. “This is Me” is all about accepting who you are as a person and loving yourself for it! The scene in where they storm through the mob is seriously the definition of good cinema.
Well there you have it, just three songs from a musical in which every song is a hit! What was your favorite song and what do you think of my deductions about the lyrics?
After hearing so much about this movie, I was intrigued. Once my student told me I needed to see it, I decided to just go.
I was not disappointed.
The movie is a historical period drama musical staring Hugh Jackman as the famous P.T. Barnum, the instigator of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The story opens on the circus at its height with Barnum as the ring-leader. The music is entertaining, starting with a stomp chorus that gets the blood pumping. Then all of the sudden, the lights, the colors fade leaving Barnum standing alone in the dark singing “It’s everything you ever want, It’s everything you ever need . . .” (Great moment of foreshadowing!)
Cue flashback to a young boy (our young Barnum) who is the son of a poor tailor. As a boy, he accompanies his father on his jobs. On one such job for the Hallet family (rich, white, snobby, first-class, cruel father), young Barnum meets young Charity (the daughter of Mr. Hallet). Naturally the two fall in love. The young actor and actress playing Young Barnum and Young Charity do a wonderful job with the sweet song “A Million Dreams.”
Time flies through the song as children grow into adults and marry (despite her family’s objections) and end up with two children of their own. When Barnum loses his job, he is inspired by a myriad of events to open up his own museum. The Barnum Wax museum, needless to say, it does not go well. However, when he listens to his adorable daughters who convince him that he needs something “alive” in his museum, his luck begins to turn.
Barnum begins collecting people who are “curious and abnormal” including: the African-American brother/sister duo acrobats, the dog-boy, the bearded lady, the tallest man alive, the heaviest man alive, and the smallest man alive.
Barnum is a success! At last, he can afford the large mansion and ballet lessons for his eldest daughter. At last, he is accepted into society. Except… he isn’t.
His “circus” brings joy and entertainment to some, and for others it brings out anger and hate. People protest the show and Barnum is not quite satisfied . . .
But I’ll leave the rest for you to see!
There have been mixed reviews of the musical. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an average rating of 55%, and yet, 90% of audiences LOVED IT! That should give a pretty clear message. Perhaps “professional critics” have the right to critique what they see as baseless entertainment; however, this movie was not meant to be “highbrow.” Much like Barnum in the movie who must deal with highbrow critics demeaning his work, this movie is an entertaining delight for people who want to be delighted. The movie celebrates unique individuality and cautions against extreme hubris and insatiable desire for MORE.
Some critics have said that Barnum’s success comes too quickly. I thought that at first too, until I realized that this movie is NOT about his success, it is about his failures as a man, a ring leader, and a father. It is a movie, with a subtle warning, about what happens after success!
If you’ve been near a television lately you might have seen some commercials for a new suspense movie that recently came out called Murder on the Orient Express. In case you haven’t seen it yet, take a quick look at the trailer:
My first assumption from the trailer was that this movie was going to be a type of Clue-remake where we discover that it was the woman with the candle stick in the engine car type of thing. I was only partially correct. The movie does hinge on the question “Who done it?” but that is not the only thing this movie has going for it.
Our main character is Hercule Poirot, pronounces Her-cue (he clarifies this starting that he hasn’t killed any lions like the famous Hercules although some may miss the quick joke). A private detective with a particular eye for balance, Poirot boards the Orient Express hoping to get some rest in between cases. As we Writers already know, this is a movie, and if the protagonist wants something they should not get it, at least not easily. Indeed, an avalanche, a flirtatious woman, a scoundrel, unequal eggs, and a murder later, Poirot is feeling the completely opposite of rest! Although an extremely bright detective, this case alludes him for most of the movie. However, as the puzzle comes together, the answer seems more baffling than the journey. Poirot claims, “There is right. There is wrong. Then there is you.” After all, it’s all about finding the balance between good and evil, between right and wrong.
As this movie is still in theaters I have no desire to spoil it for anyone and so I will keep certain details to myself. Although, for anyone who has watched it I would love to have a conversation concerning the ending in the comment section. (please be aware that the comment section is a spoil alert zone so scroll at your own risk). Oh, did I mention that Daisy Ridley (best know for her portrayal of Rey in Star Wars) is also in this movie? It drove me crazy the entire time because I couldn’t place her face until the credits There are some interesting things going on concerning justice, revenge, race, and morality.
Before I end this review though, I would like to point out something that I did not know going into this movie. It is a remake, but not of Clue. It’s a remake of the 1974 movie which is an adaptation of the 1934 book written by Agatha Christie which is a fictional narrative concerning the true story of The Lindbergh Baby. Do the research at your own risk as it will spoil this movie for you.
Overall, the movie was paced well. The dry, yet quirky humor throughout was a nice break from the continued suspense of the movie. The ending was… different. Good, but different. About in hour in, I did make a prediction that was halfway correct, but only halfway. Be sure to keep your ears open or you’ll miss some important clues!
I would definitely watch this movie again and I suggest that you do too if “who-done-it” is your kind of film! Also, Kenneth Branagh who played Hercule Poirot did an excellent job both in acting and directing!