Friday, November 19, 2021

tick, tick...Boom! (2021)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: tick, tick...Boom! (2021)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
Length: 115 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: 5000 Broadway Productions, Imagine Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Writers: Steven Levenson, Jonathan Larson
Actors: Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesus, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Bradley Whitford, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Tariq Trotter, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Alex D. Jennings, Ben Ross, Beth Malone, Danielle Ferland, Gizel Jimenez, Joanna Adler, Joel Grey, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Kate Rockwell, Laura Benanti, Mason Versaw, Micaela Diamond, MJ Rodriguez, Noah Robbins, Richard Kind
IMDb Blurb: 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.

Cat’s Point of View:
Tick, tick...Boom! was a feast for the senses.
I got everything I hoped for from this production, and then some.
Bravo to Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns, His Dark Materials, Duck Tales) for absolutely smashing it with his directorial debut. It was kismet that he came together with this particular project to bring us a window into the world of the late, great Jonathan Larson. It was absolutely clear that this was a labor of love and came from a place of deep resonance and understanding.

The story slipped between stage and ‘the real world’ so seamlessly, and the music integrated in such an organic way that you didn’t feel that slight pause as a typical musical’s cast is about to launch into the big song and dance number. If there was dancing, the movement felt natural and part of the scene rather than random people popping out of the woodwork for some choreography.
Of course, a lot of that genius is to the credit of Larson, himself, given that tick, tick…Boom! was originally written as a one-man-show. It was expanded to 3 people for its actual stage run, but then this movie just blows that out of the water.

I felt so connected to all the characters, and felt I could identify with them on some level – none moreso than Larson’s character specifically. Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go, Hacksaw Ridge, Under the Silver Lake) was an absolute dream in this role. He had such wonderful chemistry with all of the supporting cast – from his girlfriend, played Alexandra Shipp (Straight Outta Compton, Tragedy Girls, Endless) to his best friend, played by Robin de Jesus (Hair Brained, Law & Order: SVU, The Boys in the Band). It was like watching pieces fall into place – and people into parts – in a great composition coming together.
Other stand-out performances included Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless, Rent: Live, My Little Pony: A New Generation) and Joshua Henry (Winter's Tale, American Renegades, See) as Larson’s friends that work with him on his rock-musical  and revel with him outside of stage work. Everyone’s voices were on point, and the music was soaring.

I could babble on forever, really. Tick, tick…Boom! surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Let’s face it – I knew it was going to be good and I knew it would be enjoyable. I just didn’t anticipate how much it would connect with me and how much of a positive feeling it would leave with me in spite of some of the sad subject matter.
Tick, tick…Boom! celebrated not only the connection between the characters and the message of making the most of the time you have – but it also brilliantly underscored the creative process. I can’t tell you how much I identified to Larson’s writer’s block as he struggled to compose a key song for his musical. The show makes sure you get it that things aren’t always glitzy parties with champagne. Larson wasn’t shy in sharing every rejection he had to push through and keep working beyond to attain his dream.
I think that tick, tick…Boom! has a lot to offer a wide spectrum of movie-goers and streamers alike, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to offer my recommendation.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 94%
Metascore –73%
Metacritic User Score – 7.8/10
IMDB Score – 8.2/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5
Movie Trailer:

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