A few things I thought about after watching the musical biopic on Netflix…
There are a lot of feelings I have about Tick…Tick…BOOM!, on Netflix now. In no particular order:
We need more entries in the “inspirational biopic” genre that aren’t about sports stars or company founders. Those are played out and serve largely to reinforce pursuits that are fine but are already emphasized by parents, teachers, guidance counselors. Let’s see more movies about musical theater lyricists, oddball artists, struggling actors and others with more artistic sensibilities.
Basically, we’re worn out STEM and sports as sources for these stories, so let’s give the arts and humanities – the kind who are bullied and tormented by kids in those other categories – crowd a turn.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched “Sunday” from the movie on YouTube. The piece is incredible in and of itself, a great Sondheim homage, but director Lin-Manuel Miranda’s decision to fill the movie version with some of the great performers of Broadway gives it exactly the emotional heft it deserves. And it’s ridiculous how smoothly Andrew Garfiled glides through the number.
Miranda’s directorial debut is remarkable self-assured, confident of where the camera is placed, where it’s pointing and what it’s capturing. It likely helps that this is in a genre he’s already familiar with, but film and theater are still very different. I’m going to assume his work on In The Heights and other recent movies helped him pick up some pointers and tricks to aid this transition.
Speaking of which, Miranda is really carving out a niche for himself of stories about writers who feel they’re running out of time.
The central tension of the story isn’t anything romantic or professional, it’s that Jonathan Larson knew how his story began and ended but needed to figure out an actual plot reason to get from Point A to Point B and this is the most relatable thing I’ve seen on film in like decades.
There’s a featurette where the cast talk about filming the “Boho Days” sequence where one says Garfield really explored the space and yeah, that’s clear. He moves around like someone who’s been choreography all his life.
On that note, I would have put my money on Tom Holland being the first on-screen Spider-Man to show up in a movie musical, but I’m not mad it was Garfield.
No wait, I’ve watched this video of Alexandra Shipp and Vanessa Hudgens performing “Come To Your Senses” more than “Sunday.”