Tick Tick Boom is that adaptation of an autobiographical play that is heartbreaking yet makes you realize what it means and takes to be an artist.
A musical is usually considered to be one of those genres that are not for everybody. This genre is most of the time appreciated and recognized by just a few. But Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Tick Tick Boom starring Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson is an adaptation of a musical play that could be enjoyed by everyone. It follows an artist’s journey to success after years of struggle who could not even be there to witness that success as he dies too early. Though the film is an ode to the legendary short yet creative life of Jonathan Larson yet it speaks to artists of today about what it means and takes to be an artist. The film is set in AIDS-struck and the bohemian New York of the 1990s.
The film follows the story of playwright Jonathan Larson spending most of his twenties writing Superbia, a dystopian rock musical, and managing to survive in 90s New York. He was a person whose brain was wrapped with such musical creativeness that even in his personal life moments all he ever thought about was how he could convert it into a musical. He could write songs about anything and everything from heartbreak to sugar cubes. And his aim was to write and be a famous musical playwright before the age of 30 as most of the earlier ones before him got to be on Broadway before 30. But alas even though people loved Superbia but couldn’t really understand it. So, later on, Larson went on to write and perform a one-man autobiographical show called Tick, Tick… Boom! which feels like an existential shout-out. But it was his play Rent that became his breakthrough into the world of Broadway musicals but unfortunately, he wasn’t alive to witness this breakthrough. As in 1996, just before the first scheduled off-Broadway performance of Rent, an aortic aneurysm burst through his life and he died.
Lin-Manuel Miranda chose to adapt the autobiographical musical Tick, Tick… Boom!, and even though it is an adaptation of the autobiographical life of Jonathan yet it appeals to artists around the world as it packs in the unsteady creativeness of being an artist. And Andrew Garfield’s performance as Jonathan is so raw and natural that even though a musical might not be your taste yet you’ll end up watching this film in its entirety. Though the genius of Miranda lies in using the medium of a camera to showcase even those songs that ended up being cut from the stage performance. And he even went on to get a recorded message from Stephen Sondheim (who died recently) who played a mentor to Larson in real life to be used in the film.
The music, the structure of the film, the way it has been shot and edited, and the performance of everybody (big names of broadway) in the film will make this autobiographical of Jonathan’s come alive. And for today’s generation who might not be very familiar with Larson’s work are going to fall in love with him for being such a dreamy-eyed creative yet relatable genius. Even though it has been many years yet most of his music and musings from this existential shout-out still make so much sense in the world. Maybe that’s why we say art is immortal and the way Larson talks about making art and what can art do for this world makes you believe in art and him. It’s a perfect ode to the genius Jonathan Larson was but more than that it indirectly becomes an ode to every artist in the world too.
But that’s enough from us, let’s see what the Janta is saying about this musical Tick Tick Boom!
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