“The Greatest Showman” has a positive message about loving yourself that resonates with BYU-Hawaii because of its theme of having diverse people from different backgrounds come together and accept each other.
“Every time I hear the songs, I want to scream at the top of my lungs and freaking dance,” Taylor McElhaney said excitedly with a laugh. Only seeing the film once was enough for her to fall in love with the production. “I listen to the music every day.”
McElhaney said, “I don’t really like musicals, but for some reason this one was very special.” She said it taught her “to not be ashamed of who you are and not be afraid of showing yourself, or your true self. Life is more fun when you’re just happy and you get to be who you are.”
The movie reminded McElhaney of BYUH campus “because we all come from different backgrounds. It's a good experience to expose yourself to different cultures and backgrounds. I guess the diversity of all the people in the film and the way that BYU looks at diversity as a positive.”
Jade Irwin, a freshman from Utah with an undecided major, said, “We all learn from each other and magnify it rather than pushing it away. The things that hold you back, what you think is negative about yourself … sets you apart from everyone else and benefits you.”
Zeryck Russon, a freshman from California majoring in exercise science, learned to be proud of his traits “even if they're not exactly normal.” He said, “It really teaches self-value and I think it's something everyone can learn from. I guess the movie could apply to campus, as you'll find classism anywhere you go really.
“I guess people don't realize that their differences are what makes them special and unique, and it should be seen in a positive light rather than a negative one. The carnival workers in the movie were only special because they were different, no one else would've come watched if it were just a bunch of normal people.”
Russon said, “My favorite part of the show was when all the carnival workers busted into the wealthy party and were proud of who they were. I thought it was pretty cool and really inspirational that they stood up for who they were.”
As for the movie itself, McElhaney said it was good but “the music was way better than the movie.”
However, Irwin didn’t “connect with the movie at all,” despite liking the characters. “I didn’t like the way it flowed. I think there’s a lot more hype than it's worth.
“I thought the plot was all over the place, and I thought that Hugh Jackman's character was also kind of all over the place.
“He had a lot of motives and they didn’t have any meaning so they just took away from the meaning. The opera singer was singing pop music, not even opera.”
Irwin emphasized, “It’s not true to the story. True to his life story.”
Not knowing the film was a musical, Russon said, “I think the movie was popular because the soundtrack was really good, and the theme of the movie is something that everyone could get behind.”
McElhaney concluded, “Everyone should go watch it. It’s good, it’s inspiring, and it’s rocking.”