Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda has a new movie out titled In the Heights.
Directed by Crazy Rich Asians' John M Chu and based on Miranda's hit musical of the same name, this one chronicles the fortunes of a New York City bodega owner who saves up in the hope of creating something better for himself.
Set for the big screen next month, critics are already raving about In the Heights as the first reviews land online.
"So exuberant and full of life... In the Heights is the kind of electrifying theatrical experience that people have been waxing nostalgic about ever since the pandemic began — the kind that it almost seemed like we might never get to enjoy again".
"The preciousness of community, specifically of immigrant communities, has come into sharp focus over the past few months – the vital role that they serve, and how hard it is when they become fractured. In the Heights is, in body and soul, a celebration of community. Miranda sees joy and pride as profound acts of resistance.
"These ideas are present, too, in Hamilton, the musical that made him a cultural force to reckon with. And he knows it – both he and Christopher Jackson, who originated the role of George Washington, cameo as feuding street sellers. There's even a brief, cleverly hidden musical cue from the show."
"Sometimes, it can be a sensory overload with the simultaneous onslaught of rapping, gorgeous visuals, and social relevance, but hardly something that hurts the experience as a whole. In the Heights is another hypnotic and fascinating trailblazing musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda translated to the screen, with film and songs deserving of ending up on repeat."
"It's thanks to the uniform commitment of the young cast that the emotion hits as hard as it does. For all the rap and salsa influences and the specificity of its cultural setting — these characters take enormous pride in their heritage and the many national origins they represent — this is a big, soppy, traditional musical, a story about a tight-knit community helping one another through their issues with a shared sense of scrappy optimism and a killer sense of rhythm, to enormously uplifting effect."
"The movie glows with an abundance of love for its characters, their milieu and the pride with which they defend their cultural footprint against the encroaching forces of New York development that continually shove the marginalised further into the margins.
"It is a sweet-natured film with Sunny-D optimism and a no-place-like-home ethic; in a pleasant way, it felt like a feature-length version of that moment in Fame when all the kids start dancing and singing around the yellow cab outside New York's High School of Performing Arts.
"You might also compare it to West Side Story, soon to be revived by Steven Spielberg. But this is a world of all jets and no sharks, or all sharks and no jets."
In the Heights will play in US cinemas from June 11 and the UK from June 18.
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