IN THE HEIGHTS (2021)
A vibrant explosion of talent, story, culture, and song, In the Heights is the theatrical musical experience we have been waiting for and immediately catapults itself to being one of the top releases of 2021, but also straight to the top of the awards conversation on all fronts.
An adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway showstopper, the film follows a bodega owner (Anthony Ramos) as he ponders closing the shop and retiring to the Dominican Republic. In the Heights is not just a musical, but its an exploration of family, culture, and perseverance in an ever-changing world that will resonate with everyone. Ramos is an absolute marvel as the lead, narrating the story through word and song and elevating the performances of those around him. John M. Chu’s casting choices could not have been better; Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace and Corey Hawkins in particular are absolute delights in every scene (and shoutout to Gregory Diaz IV who is a delight as Sonny). Chu also has taken a modern approach to the cinematic styling of In the Heights with colors popping everywhere, a few whimsical numbers that guide the audience into the minds of the characters, and an exuberance that never leaves the screen.
Fans of Miranda’s Hamilton will recognize the same musical stylings and approach to the songs complimenting the story, and a few nods both in the cast and film details will bring a smile. While In the Heights was Miranda’s first musical, it is arguably his most accessible given the timeless themes and messages. It also doesn’t hurt that the songs will have you tapping your feet in the moment and singing for weeks to come.
Make no mistake, In the Heights is pure joy from start to finish, an instant hit and the breakout film performance for star Anthony Ramos. In the Heights hits every note and will leave a lasting impact on all who see it. This is the movie event of the summer, hands down, and demands to be seen in theaters.
In the Heights premieres in theaters and on HBO Max June 11th, 2021.
Photo from Variety