'Tick, Tick...Boom' Ending Explained: Was Larson able to see the success he deserved?

The movie sees Andrew Garfield giving a stellar performance as Jonathan Larson, who is trying to be successful at 30

                            'Tick, Tick...Boom' Ending Explained: Was Larson able to see the success he deserved?
Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)

Lin Manuel-Miranda’s first feature film as a director, titled ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’, has finally made its way to Netflix and it has already started to make all the right noises just ahead of the awards season. The movie, which is based on the semi-autobiographical musical of the same name, tells the story of Jonathan Larson, a music composer, and playwright, trying to achieve something before he turns 30.

The film is undoubtedly one of the best musicals in recent times and is a worthy addition to the list of musicals that already has movies like ‘La, La Land’ and ‘Judy’. But ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’ is quite different from the aforementioned movies. Yes, it has great music, but Larson’s story and how he changed Broadway with his music is something that keeps us glued to our screens. 


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Garfield’s performance is breathtaking and he just takes the movie to a whole new level with his acting skills. Now, if you know about Jonathan Larson, you’ll realize that he faced a lot of problems during his career and when everything seems to be getting right, something happened that changed everyone around him. So, how did Jonathan Larson’s story end? Did he finally get to see people admiring his genius?

Let’s see how the movie ended.

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)


‘Tick, Tick…Boom’ Ending Explained: What happened to Jonathan Larson?

Jonathan Larson was trying to make a futuristic play titled ‘Superbia’. However, he was finding it difficult to complete the play because his idol Steven Sondheim told him that he is missing a song in the second half of the play. As soon as Larson hears that, he starts preparing for the song, but is unable to write it. It has been a long time and the frustration of not being able to write a song is getting higher.

Even though the song is incomplete, Larson and the actors-turned-singers meet for a rehearsal. Larson is pretty pumped up during the rehearsals and he believed that the show will be amazing. It’s been more than a week and Larson hasn’t been able to write the song and is busy in rehearsals as well. He got so obsessed with the rehearsals and writing the song that it started to create differences between him and his lover Susan (Alexandra Shipp).

They get into a fight one day and Susan leaves. As soon as he gets some inspiration about the song, the power of his house is cut due to non-payment of bills. At that time, all he thinks about doing is swimming and that’s where he gets the melody. The song gets ready in no time and he urges Karessa (Vanessa Hudgens) to sing the song.

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)


The day is finally here. Larson and the team are going to show the play to some of the biggest producers of Broadway. He is hoping that his play gets picked up for Broadway. However, his dreams are shattered once he gets to know that ‘Superbia’ is too futuristic to go to Broadway. His agent tells him that he should start writing the next one and keep on writing till the time you get successful.

In the end, he wrote plays like ‘Tick, Tick… Boom’ and ‘Rent’. The players turned out to be highly successful and garnered rave reviews. However, Larson wasn’t able to see the success of ‘Rent’ as it went on Broadway for 12 years. The playwright died the night before ‘Rent’ was scheduled to have its first public performance.

The movie ends with Larson and his friends celebrating his 30th birthday.

‘Tick, Tick…Boom’ Ending Explained: What happened to Michael?

Michael (Robin de Jesus) is Larson’s best friend and former roommate. He was an actor as well, but soon changed his career and started living a corporate life. However, the bug of acting and singing was still there. Michael is relocating to a bigger place that’s closer to his workplace but Larson doesn’t want him to go. Michael always supports Larson in everything and is like a brother to him.

However, when Larson gets busy working on ‘Superbia’, he gets a bit distracted and isn’t able to talk to Michael. After Larson gets to know that ‘Superbia’ won’t be going on broadway, he comes to Michael’s office and tells him that he doesn’t have time to waste another 8 years of his life on this because he doesn’t have time. Michael tells him that he is HIV+ and he is the one who doesn’t have time.

Andrew Garfield (Jonathan Larson) and Robin de Jesus (Michael) in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)


Michael was seen sitting in the audience when Larson was doing ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’.

The movie ends with viewers getting to know that his play ‘Rent’ went on for 12 years and won three Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.

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