tick tick boom

"Tick, Tick... Boom" is the newest movie from Lin-Manuel Miranda and tells the story of playwright Jonathan Larson.

Films surrounding musicals have always had an interesting run. “Dear Evan Hansen” came out in early 2021 and was met with largely negative reactions, while a new adaptation of Cinderella was also released to similarly negative reviews. However, a new film surrounding the story of Jonathan Larson who is the composer of “Rent” has been receiving higher praise.

“Tick, Tick… Boom!” is the newest film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and stars Andrew Garfield as main character Jonathan Larson and is an autobiography surrounding his life and the musicals he created.

The main focus of the film surrounds Larson trying to find a way to break into the on-stage business and get his shows into production. The film cleverly plays with the idea of anxiety and pushes questions about success. What is success? How much do you have to do to get it? As the film progresses and Larson nears his 30th birthday, which is what the countdown references in the title, he worries that he will inevitably end up like every other director who couldn’t make it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to make the film due to the fact that Larson was one of his largest inspirations when getting into stage plays. Within the film you can see the admiration that Miranda has for Larson but at times this does keep the story slightly surface level.

However, Garfield’s performance as Larson has been lauded for showing the quirks and vulnerabilities of the character while still giving a realistic portrayal. Garfield’s voice also drew positive praise with many noting that although he is not a lifelong singer, he was able to hold his own within the music and make it sound as though his emotions were true to the story.

Throughout the film we see Larson grow in his confidence as he starts out working on a sci-fi type show entitled “Superbia” that he has put his heart into but has not had any luck with. However, as the film progresses we see Larson move on from the project and realize his ideas that may be more likely to come to fruition.

There are many different aspects of the film that call to Larson’s work “Rent” and the film does a good job of pulling together all the elements that make a musical work without overwhelming the audience.

For moviegoers who are fans of musicals “Tick, Tick… Boom!” will be a film that is enjoyable and pays homage to a great stage writer while still being fun and lighthearted.

 

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