Tik, Tik… BOOM Out Shines Expectations

Perfect. That is all I can say about this film. The new movie “Tik, Tik… BOOM!” is one of the best movie musicals I have ever seen. 


Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and music by Jonathan Larson, “Tik, Tik… Boom!” tells the story of Jonathan Larson, an aspiring musical theater writer living in New York City. In the film he is working on his new musical titled Superbia about a futuristic universe. 


In the film Larson has finished everything besides a song for the character Elizabeth. Along with struggling on his new song, his girlfriend is deciding whether or not she should take a job in the Berkshires. The movie switches back and forth between Jonathan performing his rock monologue on stage and scenes from his actual life. 


The whole cast was fantastic but Andrew Garfield, who plays Jonathan Larson, put on the performance of a lifetime. Going into the movie I was skeptical because I thought that he couldn’t sing since he has never done anything like this before. I was also annoyed because it seems that in every movie musical they just go for big names instead of the best singers, which automatically makes the movie worse because singing is the most important part of the film. But I loved Garfield’s voice and his acting was just incredible, which isn’t surprising. I truly believed that he was Jonathan Larson, it was like he just became the character. After the movie I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the role. 


One of the stand out parts of the movie was the Moondance diner scene where they sung the song “Sunday,” based on Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Sunday in the Park with George.” There were cameos left and right from Broadway’s biggest stars. Every camera angle there was someone new. It was entertaining trying to name them all.  As I mentioned before, many movie musicals don’t include Broadway stars and instead just Hollywood stars, but “Tik, Tik… BOOM!” was not lacking in that department. There were appearances from Bernadette Peters, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Adam Pascal, and many more Broadway Legends.  

The best part of the movie by far was Jonathan Larson’s music. The closing song, Louder than Words, is a show stopping number. Not only are the lyrics brilliant, but the performance of the song is incredible. Andrew Garfiled, Joshua Henry, and Vanessa Hudgens have great chemistry while singing, but my favorite part by far is the dynamics in the piece. Just when you think they are going to blow off the roof with their volume they start singing quietly. The contrast makes the piece. 

Overall, Jonathan Larson provokes emotion in ways I can’t explain. His melodies are unique and he truly made an impact on musical theater. I believe that he would have been the next Stephan Sodhiem if given the chance.