“A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi, a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.” -IMDB
Whether you are, like myself, an OG Heights fan from its early theater days or whether you are coming in to this film completely fresh, In the Heights will blow your mind. Let me clarify…
A beautiful, yet honest celebration of immigrant and first-generation communities, In the Heights follows the intersecting and rapidly-changing lives of a tight-knit community in New York’s Washington Heights. Over the course of three days, our Heights characters struggle with how to make ends up meet, how to embrace their unique, individual dreams, and how to maintain pride and a sense of identity and a neighborhood that is disappearing before their eyes.
If you are new to In the Heights, you will love the spirit of this story. Again, it’s a celebration! And who doesn’t love a party?!The music and dancing makes you want to get up out of your seat, even if you don’t know the words. Every single person in this movie seems to have given their all to it. Even the sets and wardrobes seem to come alive in order to create a beautiful sense of place. And I highly suggest seeing this movie on the big screen in order to get the full effect. And bring the family, because it’s for all ages!
And for those of you who are Broadway or Lin Manuel (or both!) fans, like myself, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, quite the opposite. This is the only movie I’ve seen that enriched the storyline of the musical or play it’s based on. All of the elements you love in the play are there and more. There are even a few Easter eggs for more observant fans to geek out over! And for those of you who love Anthony Ramos (I mean, who doesn’t?), watch out because he is about to be an international superstar after this.
I laughed. I cried. It was everything I wanted and more. You can tell it was created by a cast and crew who are fans of theater and fans of movies. They knew what both diehard fans and people wondering in off the street would want to see and somehow delivered to both audiences!
I can’t recommend more highly, as you can tell. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go see it again!
Rating: 9 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: Hamilton, Rent
Streaming: HBO Max
With: Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins
Directed By: John Chu