Yesterday night I sat down to watch a film with my girlfriend via zoom, like we have many times whilst at university. This time around was tick, tick…BOOM! and honestly what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be, portraying a story with such affect it made me want to go back and watch all of Jonathan Larson‘s work.
Jonathan Larson‘s story is an interesting one. Success can comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes it brings happiness, glory, and financial gain, while other times there can be nothing but sadness. Delving into the composers life shows you the best of both worlds, showcasing his struggles navigating love, friendship, and the pressures to create something great before he turns 30.
Being a musical and all, and coming from Lin-Manuel Miranda, in his directorial debut, you’d expect good music right? Well you’d be right. From the absolute standout, “30/90” to the highly satisfying payoff, “Louder than Words” the vast majority of songs serve a necessary purpose, moving the plot forward in an entertaining manner while also developing the compelling characters. It’s these characters that truly made tick, tick…BOOM! stand out. Andrew Garfield gives arguably the best performance of his career within. He is amazing as Jonathan Larson, portraying his musical scenes to perfection, gripping you throughout. Alongside him, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry and Vanessa Hudgens are great additional characters, but it’s Robin de Jesús as Michael who truly stole the show. He more than held his own alongside Andrew Garfield, crafting a character you deeply care about once the film concludes.
I knew nothing about Jonathan Larson going into this and came out wanting to delve deeper into his work, exactly as it intends. It’s a love letter to Broadway musicals and the artists who create them, I’m a sucker for autobiographical films, I loved it!
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