NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

The Greatest Showman

I just had the opportunity to see this new movie musical yesterday and I thought a movie review would be fun. First off, The Greatest Showman has awesome music. I happened to hear the soundtrack before seeing the movie and I was already hooked. These are very fun, catchy and beautiful songs and I loved getting to enjoy them within the movie plot. I did have a bit of trouble with the songs being integrated into the movie. I don’t know if the lip-sinking felt off, or it just didn’t seem natural to burst into song in some moments, but it just wasn’t as natural as I’ve seen in some other musical movies. So even though I loved the songs, something about watching them on screen, was just off. It may have been just me though. My sister didn’t notice anything odd about it. And I have to say the song with Zac Efron and Zendaya swinging through the air was just beautiful to watch.

Anyway, on to the plot. I didn’t really know what was going to happen in this film and I liked that, so I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But I can say that I was pleasantly surprised on the value of family this film gave off. Even though our main character gets distracted by all of the attention and fame he gets from his circus success, he ultimately values his family above all of that. In addition, the assortment of odd individuals that make up the circus also form a special bond and think of themselves as a family by the end of the movie. The love story between P T Barnum and his wife, and Philip and the acrobat was also quite touching.

In fact all of the characters in this movie were very realistic and the acting was fantastic. All in all the movie was a lot of fun to watch and very uplifting. And those catchy songs are still buzzing around my head too. So if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I hope you check it out before it goes out of theaters.

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Hamilton

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I’ve finally listened to the soundtrack for this new Broadway musical. Many friends and especially my sister have been bugging me about listening to it for quite awhile now. I would rather have seen it in person, but I do not live in New York, and even though it is coming to my state sometime next year, I highly doubt I’ll be able to get a hold of some tickets. But thankfully, the whole play is available to listen to online. So I’ve enjoyed a few weeks of slowly listening to the whole thing.

I can definitely see why this musical is such a hit, the songs are very catchy and also very relatable. I’ve often thought of the lyric “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now. History is happening and we just happen to be living in the greatest city in the world.” And it kind of strikes a chord with me. I know there is a lot of unrest in our country right now, and sometimes it’s easier to just ignore it, but it is happening, and we get to be a part of it. You and I are living in an important moment in history and it’s happening right around us. I really like how that lyric captures the moment. And even though it can be scary to be living in the middle of change and unrest, it’s also exciting to see how you’re a part of something bigger.

One of my other favorite parts of Hamilton deals more with the relationships. The play uses a large portion of the story to focus on Alexander and his wife Eliza. The songs where they fall in love are wonderful and definitely worth listening too. But after Eliza is hurt by Alexander’s affair and then their son is killed in a duel, one of my favorite songs comes next. “It’s Quiet Uptown” shows how Alexander and Eliza learn to forgive and help each other. They come back together after all they’ve been through and it’s so beautiful. It reminds me that no relationship is beyond God’s ability to heal. He knows the deep hurts, our pain, and the wrongs done to us, but He can help us forgive.

So overall, I really enjoyed this new Broadway show. If you’re sensitive to language and some more adult themes, you may want to be cautious with this play and especially with “Say No to This.” But otherwise it’s a great story and really great music!

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Movie Musicals: Into the Woods Annie

This past week I had the opportunity to see several movies, including the musicals: Into the Woods and Annie. I don’t recall seeing Into the Woods before, but I knew the general plot of rewriting the old fairytales. And Annie has been one of my favorite musicals ever since I was a little kid. I’ve seen it multiple times on stage and I’m pretty sure the old movie version was watched at least once by my family. In any case, I usually like movie adaptations of musicals. I like the music, even if it gets stuck in my head and generally the storylines of musicals are just as compelling as other movies. So into the movie theater I went to see these two movie versions of classic plays.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Woods_(film)

I’ll start with Into the Woods, since I saw it first. Even with the familiarity of the fairytale stories, I enjoyed getting to see the characters fleshed out by new actors and I particularly liked seeing Little Red Riding Hood being a sneaky little girl who took way more sweets than she needed. Since I hadn’t seen this play before, I actually thought the movie was over when everyone was getting their happily ever after. I had the brief thought of “what about that other bean stalk?” but everyone was so happy that I thought it wasn’t a big deal. And then the change came, people cheated, died and the happily ever after became a lie. I liked the realism this change brought to the characters and I especially liked the song about who to blame. It’s easy to get caught up in finding someone to blame for our problems, when the truth is we are just as much to blame as they are. So in the end, even though the story changed, I was pleased with the outcome, and how the characters who were still alive had changed too. And the “Into the Woods” song won’t be leaving my thoughts anytime soon.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_(2014_film)

Onto Annie, this story I know very well, and I was intrigued by the preview for this movie and how they were updating it for a new generation. A lot of the classic songs were still included and even a tip of the hat to the old version with the opening scene showing a little red headed girl tap dancing who was also named Annie. But then the story shifts and we get to see a world more similar to what we know. And even though new songs were added, characters were changed, and the story departed from the original, I still found myself enchanted by this movie. I especially liked how the lady who boarded the orphan girls had more of a backstory and was more relateable to the audience. I enjoyed her character a lot more than the previous version and was happy that she got to become more of a heroine than a villain in the end. The only complaint I would have is that a few of the songs sounded a little “fake” to me, as if they were recorded by a different actor and then lip-sinked to the one playing the character. But even with that, I still enjoyed the movie.

So if you too enjoy a good musical, I would highly recommend either of these movies.

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