The screening room | ‘Tick, Tick … Boom’ thanks to the leader’s performance | Cinema-television

As a critic, I’m supposed to keep an open mind and not be prejudiced against any performer, director, or genre. Anyway, I’ve never been a huge fan of musicals, so for me to be blown away by one really means something.

Composer Jonathan Larson’s Lin-Manuel Miranda bio-pic, “Tick, Tick… ​​Boom!” handled just that. Exuberant and driven by an astonishing performance by Andrew Garfield, the film offers a poignant look not only at an artist’s creative process, but also the sacrifices required to be successful.

The author of the Broadway sensation “Rent,” “Boom” is an earlier production by Larson, which began as an extended musical monologue but has been modified and expanded over the years.

At its core, the production deals with the fact that the author juggles his artistic activities, a romantic relationship and his sense of purpose. After investing body and soul in a futuristic musical called “Superbia”, the writer is apparently on the verge of success.

He assured him a workshop performance which he hopes will attract a variety of producers who will lead to his production. The problem is, a song is missing and the Writer Block has set in.

Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Susan (Alexandra Shipp), an aspiring dancer, is pressuring him to leave New York with her to live in the suburbs where she has found a stable job.

Larson sees such a move as a concession he cannot make, although he admits that he cannot continue chasing his dream of Broadway success any longer.

More practical concerns – paying bills, a steady income – loom in her life, and the fact that her ex-roommate (Robin de Jesus) is making a lot of money in advertising only increases the pressure to capitulate.

Director Lin-Manuel Miranda and screenwriter Steven Levinson recreate the songs and monologues from the stage version of “Boom” and incorporate traditional biographical elements retracing Larson’s struggles.

The result is an intriguing hybrid in which each other’s elements merge into the other, with our hero immediately lamenting his struggles in his dilapidated apartment, then singing and dancing to express his woes and hopes.

It turns out to be a captivating approach that brings a sense of vitality to the story that a more traditional and straightforward approach would have lacked.

Garfield has always been a reliable performer, but his work here is an eye-opener. Dancing and singing with the abandonment of Gene Kelly, the actor brings Larson’s sense of excitement and hopelessness to the screen.

His work anchor “Boom” in a way that many other musicals lack – there is a sense of humanity behind it because of him that reinforces every song of exuberance or moment of doubt.

We’ve been around Larson from the start, and it’s thanks to the actor’s good work.

He’s ably supported by Shipp, who brings the same emotional investment into his role, while Vanessa Hudgens, as a member of the Larson Associates company, continues to show that her “musical high school” days were no fluke.

Miranda’s eye for movement translates well on the big screen, with the dance sequences effectively reduced and focused for the camera rather than the stage. Certainly, the energy is not lacking here.

Ultimately, “Boom” is about the conviction it takes to risk everything for a dream that no one sees but you. Obviously, that feeling and everything the film is about is all the more poignant given Larson’s fate and the posthumous success of “Rent”.

Although he did not see it, the tenacity of the writer ended up paying off, his experience an example to all ready to throw in the towel.

For DVR alerts, movie recommendations, and movie news, follow Koplinski on Twitter (@ckoplinski). His email is [email protected]

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