Home Tick, Tick… BOOM!

Tick, Tick... BOOM! (12A)

Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesus
Genre: Musical
Author(s): Steven Levenson
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Release Date: 12/11/2021 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 120mins
Country: US
Year: 2021

Jonathan Larson endures an early life crisis, fearful that he will turn 30 without completing his long-gestated musical Superbia. Supported by his girlfriend Susan and best friend Michael, who works in advertising, Jonathan chases his dream as the spectre of Aids casts a long shadow over New York. Creative excellence comes at the expense of personal relationships and Jonathan faces devastating sacrifices in the name of art.


LondonNet Film Review
Tick, Tick… BOOM! (12A)

In the early hours of January 25 1996, New York composer-playwright Jonathan Larson died from an aortic aneurysm, 24 hours before the first public preview of his musical Rent loosely inspired by Puccini’s opera La Boheme. He was 35. The show would transfer to Broadway, win four coveted Tony Awards including Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and inspire an ardent fanbase known as Rentheads. Another Tony Award winner, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, makes his feature film directorial debut with a big screen adaptation of Larson’s semi-autobiographical 1990 rock monologue about a composer struggling to gain a foothold in New York’s theatre scene…

Tick, Tick… BOOM! is a gushing love letter to Broadway and the creative minds who wring themselves dry in pursuit of a perfect melody and lyric. Scriptwriter Steven Levenson draws heavily on Larson’s work, recreating a 1990 stage performance as the framing device for cinematic flourishes. “Everything you are about to see is true… apart from the bits Jonathan made up,” quips Larson’s girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp) in voiceover before the opening piano chords of “30/90” and Andrew Garfield unleashes his powerhouse vocals as the self-doubting talent, flanked by two singers (Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry) and a band.

We follow 29-year-old Jonathan in the throes of an early life crisis, fearful that he will turn 30 without completing his rock musical Superbia. The last eight years have been poured on to the page and – crucially – he still lacks a barnstorming ballad for his heroine to usher in the show’s final act. Words of encouragement from idol Stephen Sondheim (Bradley Whitford) fail to allay Jonathan’s fears as he juggles tiring work shifts at the Moondance Diner in SoHo and long hours staring at the flickering screen cursor of his Mackintosh desktop computer.

Supported by dancer girlfriend Susan (Shipp) and best friend Michael (Robin de Jesus), who works in advertising, Jonathan chases his dream as the spectre of Aids casts a long shadow over New York, impacting their inner social circle including good friend Freddy (Ben Levi Ross). Time seems to be running out, for everyone.

Twenty-five years after Rent took its first bow, Tick, Tick… BOOM! detonates with palpable force on screen, turbo-charged by Garfield’s heart-wrenching central performance. His Jonathan is a heady cocktail of blinkered, infuriating, dazzling, resilient and defeatist and the Californian-born actor’s voice confidently crests the Larson songbook including a briskly choreographed duet with de Jesus on “No More”. The faltering romance between Jonathan and Susan treads water by comparison. Miranda is most comfortable with splashy song and dance numbers, particularly one euphoric cast rendition at the diner that disproves a character’s assertion: “Everyone’s unhappy in New York.”

– Julie Wheatley

 


London Cinemas Showing Tick, Tick... BOOM!


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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Tick, Tick... BOOM!


From: Friday 3rd December
To: Thursday 9th December

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From: Friday 10th December
To: Thursday 16th December

No cinema infomation at the moment