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'Tick, Tick...Boom' Review: Knockout musical with joyful, greatly satisfying experience

The movie stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson, who is trying to make something out of his life as he turns 30
Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)
Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)

Making a movie about a real person’s life is never easy. There are a lot of factors that the maker needs to take care of before even trying to come out with a project based on a person, who is not only famous but changed the way people used to look at Broadway. We are talking about Lin Manuel-Miranda’s ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’, which stars Andrew Garfield as the iconic theatre composer and playwright Jonathan Larson.

Miranda said on numerous occasions that it was a passion project for him and has been trying to tell Larson’s story to the world for many years now. But did he manage to tell what he wanted to? And will the movie be able to create an impact on people’s minds? The answer to these aforementioned questions is YES!!!


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The dynamic duo of Miranda and Garfield has weaved magic on the screen. The movie will take you on a special journey from the very first song and the entire film after that song is special, filled with emotions, heartbreaks, and determination.

So, the movie begins by giving us an idea of what kind of person Jonathan was. He was working as a waiter in a Diner, but he never let his passion go away from him. Jonathan is working on a project in which he is a writer of the play and will also compose the music of that theatre production. A few moments later we see Larson (Andrew Garfield) on the stage, acting for a play and singing a song. Now, this is where it gets magical. The entire premise of the first song and how it is performed is brilliant and Garfield’s singing talent will definitely blow everyone’s mind.

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

Larson starts to give a monologue and tells the story of his life in a play called ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’. The play is actually about Larson turning 30 and not getting to achieve what he wanted to. He compares his life with the life of his idol, Steve Sondheim. On the other hand, he is also writing a project called ‘Superbia’. However, he is finding it hard to write a song that could change everything. Even after going through a lot in his life, Larson managed to create something special for the world to see.

Miranda’s adaptation is a heartwarming tribute to an icon who never got to see his art getting appreciated by one and all.

As far as acting is concerned, Garfield has once again shown us why he is one of the brightest talents in the industry. He carries the weight of the entire movie on his shoulders and gives a career-defining performance that would be remembered for a long, long time. The actor, who studied musical performance to prepare for his role, digs deeply into Larson’s creative struggles and gives a performance that is nothing short of a miracle. It would be a travesty if Garfield doesn’t get noticed in the upcoming awards season.

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

Meanwhile, Alexandra Shipp as Susan is also brilliant. Her role might not be that big, but whenever she is on the screen, you are in awe of her acting skills. Another actor that completely floored me was Robin de Jesus. Even though he doesn’t have many songs to sing in the movie, but his intensely interpreted dramatic scenes are a treat to watch.

On the other hand, Vanessa Hudgens has improved a lot as an actress. She is amazing as Karessa and people will absolutely fall in love with her voice once she gets going with songs.

Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa in 'Tick, Tick...Boom' (Netflix)

Miranda has done a fantastic job in handing his first feature film as director with so much professionalism. We could see Miranda getting recognized for his work in the awards season.

Larson’s music was futuristic and that’s why a lot of Broadway directors or producers never really invested in his projects. But, he showed them that this is the future of Broadway and even though he passed away in 1996, his legacy never died and his music indeed changed Broadway.

All in all, ‘Tick, Tick…Boom’ is one of the best movies of 2021 and deserves all the praise that it’s receiving. The movie is a touching tribute to Larson and it will touch everyone’s heart.

‘Tick, Tick…Boom’ is currently streaming on Netflix.