Tic, Tic… BOOM! Criticism | Movie

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Budding composer Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield) struggles to stage his rock opera Superbia. He needs a new song for the second act, his girlfriend Sarah (Alexandra Shipp) is about to move out, and worse yet, he’s about to turn 30.

If you are one of those people for whom musical theater takes you out in the beehives, Tic, Tic… Boom! will not win you over. Based on Jonathan Larson’s musical About His Own Songwriting Difficulties (he hit hard with To rent), Hamilton Maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut is chock full of things to put the teeth of the show’s enemies alive (impromptu a cappella singing, to begin with), but does with a deep love for musicals, some great songs. and a more successful turn of the dark side in its final act.
Adapted by Cher Evan Hansen le scribe Steven Levenson, Tic, Tic… Boom! oscillates between Larson (Andrew Garfield) on stage at the piano, recounting his life accompanied by a small group with two singers (Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry) and sections of the real world dramatizing his problems. Foremost among them is that he’s 1990 and is about to turn 30 – the title refers to the countdown – and has yet to experience the theatrical breakthrough of his idol Stephen Sondheim. His latest work Pride, a dystopian rock musical on a poisoned planet (Greta Thunberg stan), heads to a rehearsal workshop before an industry showcase. Jon still hasn’t been able to write a killer song for the second act. Where will the inspiration come from?

As the difficulties of cinema disappear, they are problems that are difficult to invest in upscale neighborhoods. It also contains some awesome depictions of the creative act, so blisters on his nose might as well appear above Larson’s head. More touching is how his musical obsessions alienate the people in his life – especially his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp), who has a new job in the Berkshires (New York, not Home Counties) and wants to know if Jon is going to join. she and her childhood friend Michael (Robin de Jesús), who has given up on his own acting dreams and wants Jon to realize his musical aspirations.

The film finds moving emotional notes without being cutesy.

As you would expect from its creators, Tic, Tic… Boom! from classes with a love of musical theater, nods and nods to Broadway history to a terrific and bizarre cameo from Bradley Whitford as Sondheim. Some of the songs are coming out smartly as well. ‘Boho Days’, an ode to life in the New York arty sector carried by the rhythmic applause, sounds very irritating but is actually very winning. ‘Why’ is a charming ode to friendship based on a passion for music. Others – like “Sunday,” a hymn to people who overspend on weekend brunch – do little to move the story forward and often fall into the trap of the same rock tunes on the piano (Larson didn’t Miranda’s dizzying pun). The score is not helped by Miranda, whose management, while still competent – “No More,” Mike’s song about posh apartment living, is his most ambitious streak, intersecting skanky apartment buildings and apartments. in parquet – rarely finds cinematic ways to make them soar.

The ever-likeable actor, Garfield – bravely sporting Larson’s ridiculous hairstyle that gets a call in the script – gets Larson’s self-centeredness but doesn’t really add any other colors until the film takes a more serious turn in the last third. This is where we feel the weight of Jon – Shipp’s relationship and Jesús’ engaging foils; you feel for them – and the film finds moving emotional notes without being cutesy. Perhaps the final act suggests that if he steps away from his musical wheelhouse, Miranda might have a powerful dramatic filmmaker hidden within.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut is an affectionate, albeit flawed, Valentine’s Day for both musical theater and the art of creativity – a few bum notes, a few highlights. Tick, tick… the jury is out.

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