tick, tick...BOOM! (2021)
If you know me, you may not know I love musicals. I mean really love them. I can gush enthusiastically about them, no matter the standard. They are the most perfect of hybrids when eloquently committed to film. I'm a sucker for great music partnered with dazzling visuals. I even enjoyed Dear Evan Hansen on the screen. Most people look at me funny, I know. I miss Sondheim already, if I'm honest.
Add to this the outstanding talent that is Lin-Manuel Miranda, a New York backdrop and Steven Levinson adapting Jonathan Larson's stage autobiography.
"Who doesn't love showtunes with french toast?"
I paused for thought at the notion of Andrew Garfield leading this project, really wondering if he had the chops to pull of Larson's presence. He certainly has the natural smugness, that is without doubt. Whether he could carry a tune, however, was for me at least, still up for debate.
I shouldn't have worried as his performance is delightful and he clearly is under the spell of Miranda's considerable directing skill, as is the entire production, seemingly edited to near-death, to give it such fizzing life.
This story of a man approaching thirty who begins to question his worth and validity is far from unique, but so is Jon (Garfield) who is only days away from his make or break performance, hoping to write the next great American musical. As his time ticks by, he finds himself wondering if he can he settle down and still not drown? He needs a guide.
The songs are great, performed with gusto and aplomb, ably supported by Vanessa Hudgens, but the whole cast are great and Garfield shines particularly and often. The real test is whether it draws you into the story, despite the punctuated music, and enraptures the audience (because of the music), which it did for me personally. I absolutely loved every minute. Granted this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for me, this was outstanding.