My Celebrity Life

In The Heights review: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit brought to life in vibrant musical that feels like one big block party

My Celebrity Life –

In The Heights will make you want to get up and dance thanks to its infectious summer vibes (Picture: Warner. Bros)

A movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s beloved Broadway hit, In The Heights, was meant to be enjoyed by the world last June. However, things really do happen exactly when they are supposed to because the musical is the perfect big-screen event to get the audiences excited for the summer ahead.

Like the original show, the film centers on a bodega owner who has mixed feelings after deciding to close his shop and move back to the Dominican Republic.

Directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu, the flick further honors the Latino immigrant experience with a project that clearly values representation at its core.

The movie sees Hamilton star Anthony Ramos play Usnavi, the bodega owner with big dreams living in the predominantly Dominican Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

Alongside Usnavi is his childhood friend Nina8 (Leslie Grace), who returns to Washington Heights from university with big news for her parents as well as figuring things out with her ex-boyfriend Benny (Corey Hawkins).

Elsewhere, we have budding fashionista Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who has been Usnavi’s secret love for as long as he can remember.

My Celebrity Life –

Hamilton star Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera star in the moving musical (Picture: Warner Bros.)

Unfolding over the course of three days, the musical drama follows the lives, struggles, and relationships of a close-knit Hispanic-American community.

Penned by Quiara Alegria Hudes, the film suffers from having a bit too much going on at times but that does nothing to hamper the audiences ability to sit back and let themselves be transported to a world that often doesn’t get shown in its full glory in Hollywood.

My Celebrity Life –

Director Jon M. Chu goes to town with lavish sequences and wonderfully choreographed dance numbers (Picture: HBO Max)

It’s a joy to see Latinos playing Latinos, firing out Spanish expressions and making references to Caribbean culture that previously might have been toned down in order to cater to a ‘mainstream’ viewer.

From the music and the fashion to the incredible musical numbers and entertaining character, this is simply a joyful cinematic experience that many will be grateful to enjoy play out on the big screen.

Having originated the role of Usnavi in the Broadway show, fans will be delighted to see Miranda pop up from time to time the piragua guy, pushing his shaved ice cart through the streets.

One has to imagine that even he couldn’t have pictured his idea for a musical show getting the big screen treatment quite like this.

Verdict:

A vibrant story all about exploring the idea of what ‘home’ means, it’s no surprise this became an instant hit the theater lovers. Now even more will get to have their spirits lifted thanks to this larger-than-life movie musical.

After the pain and suffering of the past year, there’s nothing audiences need more than the bright and colorful scenes, mixed with lovable characters and catchy tunes.

Filmed in Washington Heights, the movie transports audiences around the globe to the bustling city of New York, at a time when the option to head off on vacation in another city still isn’t available to the masses.

The most enjoyable part of it all is the message that there is nothing more important powerful than a neighborhood that comes together and has each other’s back – something the world has been reminded of following a humbling global pandemic.

In The Heights hits US theaters and HBO Max on June 18, while it released on June 25 in the UK.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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