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Entertainment > Movies > "In the Heights"--movie Theatre Review
 

"In the Heights"--movie Theatre Review



It is very hard to imagine the musical numbers in "In The Heights" being half as exciting or as effecting on a TV screen--no matter what size--as on a movie screen. The choreography by Christopher Scott outdoes anything Busby Berkeley (ask your grandparents or google him!) ever did in his heyday. The singing by all is very strong and the joy and professionalism of each and every cast member make each frame of the film stand out!

The main problems I had with the movie were the length, 2 hours and 23 minutes, and the story in between the musical numbers. On stage there is a 15-20 minute intermission so the length is easier to handle while the screenplay by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin-Manual Miranda, based on the book they wrote for the stage version has been changed in many ways and not for the better.

Today Miranda is mainly known for the stage musical "Hamilton" for which he wrote the book, lyrics and music but "In The Heights" was his first show and it introduced his use of lots of varied music from typical Broadway tunes to rap which he extended the use of the latter in the former show.

I am a minority in this opinion but I find "In The Heights" more entertaining, more moving and with a much better score than "Hamilton".

Many years ago in Hollywood movies at the end credits would show a picture along with their movie name and role they played and though there are many veteran performers is this film there are many new ones whose characters I knew by name but not the actor who played the role. Among the vets was a minor role played by Miranda who sells shaved ices with a cart, Marc Anthony as the father of the lead's store helper, Jimmy Smits as the widowed father one of the female leads and Daphne Rubin-Vega, who, on stage, would stop the show with her "Carnival del Barrio", just to name a few.

Among the new faces to me is Anthony Ramos, the lead, who plays the role that Miranda originated on Broadway, Cory Hawkins, who impressed me the most, Leslie Grace as his girlfriend, Melissa Barrera as Ramos's girlfriend, George Diaz IV as the store helper who represents the DACA group plus Olga Merediz, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanca, Patrick Page, Noah Catala and others showing the striving working-class of Latins who live in a special section of New York, called---you guessed it!--Washington Heights.
The resilience of this group of Latins shines through the many musical numbers whether the joyous upbeat numbers or the quieter numbers mainly sung by the women.

I cannot comprehend the musical numbers and/or the reaction of those watching this film on a TV screen with, maybe, 2-3 other people, can be as meaningful and entertaining as I experienced watching it on a movie screen with a movie audience and, someday, I might give it a look at the former way.






posted on June 11, 2021 8:55 PM ()

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