Tick, Tick… BOOM!–cinematographic masterpiece about a musical mastermind
If you are a fan of 90s music, feel-good books and movies and like coffee shop scenes that turn into musical pieces, you will most definitely enjoy Tick Tick Boom. Directed by Lyn Manuel Miranda and starring well-known actors like Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp and Vanessa Hudgens, this biographical musical drama is a must-watch.
New York pressures
Set in the 1990s, the movie follows the uprising of Jonathan Larson, a young and inspired musical writer. The movie depicts his days in New York as he navigates through the pressures of career, love and friendship. It could be interpreted that this is a musical about making a musical, first Larson’s great success, known as Superbia. Andrew Garfield takes the role of Larson and truly gives all of his emotions to this character. There is a great balance between Larson’s inner monologue and his relationship to others. Larson is portrayed as a caring person who views the world through emotional glasses, but sometimes gets too caught up in his own head which causes trouble in his relationship with his best friend Michael and his girlfriend Susan. If you believe in “right person, wrong time” concept, this would be Susan and Larson. Their loving relationship suffers because of the need to survive in ever-moving, never-sleeping, pressuring New York. As they struggle with deciding if they have made the right career choices, they drift apart only to make peace again in the end. Third big role in the movie is played by Robin de Jesús who found himself in the character of Larson’s best friend Michael. Michael is what keeps Larson grounded, he is his support system. de Jesús did a great job with this character bringing the elements of drama, but also of stability.
Besides the great choice of actors, cinematography is what makes this movie stand out. Scenes are a combination of real-looking conversations, shots from real life performances of Larson’s musicals and musical movie scenes which are all followed by a recurring background tick. The tick makes you nervous, it creates a sensation that the time is truly running out, makes you worry and feel for the characters. Everything in the film flows so smoothly together, like a finely composed musical number.
To conclude, this is a biographical easy-going movie that portrays the struggles that modern day artists face and the pressure of a constant need to be original. The movie brings an up-close look at the astonishing talents of a composer who was taken too soon from this world. This touching story, accompanied with great musical pieces, a dash of humour and a love drama makes a wonderful family movie. The acting is surreal, the story is heart-warming and the cinematography is a great mix of real life scenes and fantasy.
Written by Petra Grula