On the cusp of his 30th birthday, Jon (Andrew Garfield) is a promising theater composers feeling the pressure to create something remarkable before time runs out.
Based on the autobiographical musical written by Tony award and Pulitzer Prize winning, Jonathan Larson, tick, tick…BOOM! is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut and holy shit, what can’t this man do?!
tick, tick…BOOM! is musical magic. Miranda creates a magnificent ode to artists, the sacrifices they make, and the pressure they feel both internally and externally to create art. So many times, on screen musicals lose the intimacy and authenticity you feel in an actual theatre.
However, Miranda manages to translate the on-stage performance to screen almost seamlessly, and exceeds the productions I’ve seen of this monologue-esque musical. Dare I say, this is one of the best musical translations I’ve seen in a LONG time…
And beyond the masterful direction, a lot of the film’s praise goes to Andrew Garfield. With charisma, ambition, confidence and sometimes self-important frustration, Garfield gives his career-best performance. Honestly, I was SO impressed by him and his commitment to bring such a musical legend to life. And if he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, I will be disappointed. I will riot, kids. I will.
Another stand out performance is by Robin de Jesús, who plays Jon’s long time childhood friend, Michael. I remember seeing him as Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway in 2010, and he has such undeniable talent. I am so thrilled to see his career growing and would love a world where he could be recognized for this performance as well.
As a thespian and massive fan of Rent, this captivating narrative made me miss my old theatre days, New York City, and all the passion, blood, sweat and tears that goes into the creative process of building something beautiful.
And theatre geeks? “Sunday” will be your version of the portals scene from Avengers: Endgame. Like, I screamed. Many times. The amount of Broadway cameos…INSANE.
We all know time is fleeting and based on the title alone, tick, tick…BOOM! focuses on it. A LOT.
And in a world where we don’t like to waste time on content, I urge you, please don’t let this piece of art pass you by.
Final Thoughts: With passion, strong performances and an impressive directorial debut from Lin-Manuel Miranda results in one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Do not pass this up.