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Review: Tick, Tick…Boom! (2021)

This one is for the theatre kids.

There are some days that are so special, so full of wonder and that come only once a year. Christmas, Halloween, your birthday…And most elusive of all, the day I earnestly recommend you all check out a Netflix original movie. It doesn’t happen very often but yes, even I, the most critical of any new movie that Netflix releases, occasionally finds treasure among the hordes of trash put out by the streamer. This year’s piece of treasure is Tick, Tick…Boom! (2021), a musical that is so vibrant and effervescent that the fact that it is so enjoyable and moving made me overlook my distaste for Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Hamilton” fans, please don’t come for me.

Credit: / Netflix

Based on Jonathan Larson’s musical of the same name, Tick, Tick…Boom! follows Jonathan, a promising young theatre composer who works tirelessly to get his musical “Superbia” produced. Nearing his 30th birthday, Jonathan navigates the highs and lows of friendship, love and show business as he experiences life as a struggling artist in New York City.

The directorial debut of acclaimed Broadway performer / composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tick, Tick…Boom! is not only a quality adaptation of the stage show but a rousing love letter to musical theatre in every sense of the term. Despite my own personal feelings towards Miranda, I can’t deny that there is no one better to direct this off-beat movie musical about an eclectic yet brilliant composer than Miranda himself. His firsthand experience of the theatre world is evident as he beautifully handles the direction and execution of Tick, Tick…Boom! And I’m not just talking about the excellent choice to hire actually talented singers for a movie musical! Who could have possibly guessed that that would be a good choice, am I right? Miranda’s masterful direction truly captures the fluidity of a genuine stage show, making watching Tick, Tick…Boom! feel as though you’re doing so in the dimmed lights of an intimate New York City theatre. For those yearning for the haven of the theatre, watching this impressive movie is the next best thing. 

All of the actors assembled for Tick, Tick…Boom! are wonderful to watch, but they really only exist to amplify Andrew Garfield’s powerhouse lead performance. The highlight of the movie, Garfield gives the role of Jonathan his all. You can tell his passion and commitment to delivering a stellar performance and oh my God, does Garfield ever pour every ounce of talent he has into this role. Garfield is a livewire. Everything from his singing, to his dancing, to his acting are so on-point and so phenomenal that this is guaranteed to be a role he will always be remembered for. I never knew that he had a voice that is not only glorious to listen to, but also so well-suited for a Broadway musical! Tick, Tick…Boom! presents Garfield like you’ve never seen him before. If you weren’t a fan of the actor before this, trust me: You certainly will be after Tick, Tick…Boom!

My only true gripe about Tick, Tick…Boom! is that it perhaps runs a tad too long at just under two hours. I only say that because many of the scenes seem to be repetitive or feel like territory the movie has already covered. It feels like Miranda didn’t edit out a single thing which in a movie that so often repeats itself, is a bit of an issue. That being said, I would still strongly recommend Tick, Tick…Boom! and can do nothing but sing its praises. If you were ever a theatre kid with too much creativity and too little patience for the monotony of everyday life, this is definitely the movie for you. 

Will you see Tick, Tick…Boom! ?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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