Tuesday, November 30, 2021

tick, tick...BOOM! - Movie Review

The Movie: tick, tick...BOOM

The Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda

The Cast: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry, Bradley Whitford, Judith Light

The Story: On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.

The Review:
Okay, so let me get this straight. This movie is an adaptation of a musical called tick, tick...BOOM! which was written by Jonathan Larson, who is most well known for writing Rent, where he writes a musical called Superbia which is not tick, tick...BOOM! or Rent. The musical he writes in the musical which Lin-Manuel Miranda has turned into a movie was never produced but it got him on the musical map and led to him writing tick, tick, BOOM! and Rent before his untimely passing. I hope that makes sense.

After being a part of so many musicals and movies, Miranda takes his first stab at directing a feature film and I think he chose exactly the right story to take on. Of course musicals are right up his alley, I mean he made Hamilton and he does a masterful job of translating this particular musical into a cinematic presentation which is not always easy to do. Andrew Garfield, who most probably know as the unfortunate Peter Parker of the (not so) Amazing Spider-Man movies, plays Jonathan Larson and I have to say I really enjoyed his performance.

Before watching the movie, I was not familiar with who Larson was other than he's the guy who wrote Rent although I get the feeling that Garfield embodied the spirit and characteristics of the man quite nicely. There is a very specific and frenetic energy to Garfield's performance that is especially endearing and it feels completely authentic without ever being over the top or cheesy in any way which I think would be a danger here especially with a musical. I was also impressed with the actor's singing ability as he was able to hold his own with the likes of Vanessa Hudgens and Robin de Jesús.

The rest of the cast is filled out nicely with Alexandra Shipp and Joshua Henry along with the aforementioned Hudgens and de Jesús all putting in great work. Bradley Whitford is also on board as composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who passed away recently, and Judith Light who is pretty fantastic as Jonathan's agent Rosa Stevens. All these great performances add up to a very entertaining cast of characters who all fit in nicely within the movie that is about as feel good as feel good gets.

The Verdict:
tick, tick...BOOM! is a thoroughly entertaining musical adaptation featuring an excellent performance from Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson, the man who wrote the original musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda proves yet again with his directorial debut that he is one of the most talented people working in Hollywood and Broadway today.

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