A couple of days ago, I asked my Twitter followers to help me decide what to write on next. This blog post is the winner of that poll: a review of the movie version of In The Heights. Before getting into how much I loved the movie, I will say I am aware of the criticism from the Latinx community of the movie. Given that I am not Latino at all, I will not address the criticism. Speaking on situations and circumstances I have no experience with is not something I will ever do on this blog. It would be wrong of me.
Music is one of the most frequent ways I cope with my condition. Singing is how get my feelings out a lot of the time. I have always loved musicals. The first one I remember seeing was Mary Poppins as an incredibly young child when Mama rented it for me to watch. I was hooked immediately. Julie Andrews was utter perfection in the role.
After my first musical exposure several more followed: The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and the original Doctor Doolittle. Almost everyone of these is in my personal movie collection, now, as an adult.
If you have been reading my posts for a while, you know my favorite musical and movie is RENT. I was incredibly excited when I learned Lin-Manuel Miranda is a RENT head, too and that it inspired him to create musicals on his on own terms. The Hamilton original Broadway cast album was a favorite of mine before it began streaming on Disney+ last year. Now, it is an even bigger favorite.
It goes without saying I was anticipating seeing In The Heights, but I am saying it anyway. It exceeded my expectations. Anthony Ramos is beyond perfectly cast as Usnavy. His immense talent is obvious as soon as he comes on screen. He draws you in just as he did in the original cast of Hamilton. Ramos carries the whole movie seemingly effortlessly. He pushes the rest of cast to rise to the task of his excellence. They are more than up to the task, and they do it well.
The songs are exactly what so many Broadway/musical enthusiasts, including me, have come to know Lin-Manuel Miranda’s scores for: crisp verses for every song +choruses no one can get out of their heads. This soundtrack has a become a frequent companion.
Director Jon M. Chu is seemingly meant to direct the movie. He captures the joy, hope, and resilience of the material so well. The pandemic and its impacts on every facet of life means music, joy, resilience, and hope are exactly what we all need to move forward into our new typical lives.
Thank you to everybody involved for giving us all such a beautiful piece of creativity and artistry! Thank you for giving me another musical movie with a chosen family in it. If you have followed my blog for a while or read more than one blog post: you know my chosen family is paramount to my thriving with CP. The same is true for the characters in RENT and In The Heights.
If you have not seen In The Heights yet, do if you get the chance and feel comfortable going to a movie theater with Corona virus cases on the rise, again, in all US states You will not be disappointed! I promise you all.