Movie Review: ‘In the Heights’

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In the Heights Movie

‘In the Heights’ will be available in theaters and on HBOmax starting June 11.

Adam Zerman, Business Manager

It was announced this past week that “In the Heights” will open the Tribeca Film Festival on June 9, just two days before it is set to release in theatres and on HBO. Some lucky fans got the opportunity to see an early online screening of the film through Warner Bros. Studios on Thursday, April 15.

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote “In the Heights” as a love letter to Washington Heights, an ethnic neighborhood in northern Manhattan overlooking the George Washington Bridge where Miranda grew up. The musical spent three years on Broadway between 2008 to 2011. It won four Tony Awards including best musical. As soon as it left Broadway, there were rumors of a movie version being made, and 10 years later it is finally arriving on the big screen. Under the direction of Jon M. Chu, fans and critics everywhere cannot wait for its worldwide release.

“In the Heights” is a story of dreamers, love, legacy and perseverance. It follows main characters Usnavi, Vanessa, Sonny, Benny and Nina, over three days living in Washington Heights. It is a celebration of family, friendship, love and community. With people leaving, following their dreams and businesses closing, it appears the neighborhood is changing forever, with a few surprises along the way.

The musical focuses on Usnavi (played by Anthony Ramos) as he runs the local bodega with his cousin Sonny (played by Gregory Diaz IV). Vanessa (played by Melissa Barrera) works at the neighborhood salon and Nina (played by Leslie Grace) struggles with moving away to college. Benny (played by Corey Hawkins) works at Nina’s father’s cab company.

The film has incredible choreography with large dance numbers in throughout the city. It even uses camera tricks at one point to make it look as if Benny and Nina are dancing on the side of the building.

Along with the choreography, the film also used incredible scenery of the George Washington Bridge and the New York City skyline. Moreover, the use of fire hydrants as sprinklers and giant block parties helps show viewers what it is like to live in Washington Heights.

Fans who were lucky enough to see the movie shared their love for the film on social media, with some even comparing the Broadway musical to the movie. Some events in the musical were reordered in the movie but still tell the same amazing story.

“I thought it was incredibly well made. Unfortunately, a lot of songs had to be cut and the timeline of some events was switched, but what came out was a beautiful and vibrant story that still had the [same] effect as the original,” said Zack Tashoff, who viewed the film.

Most fans seem to agree that the movie is a masterpiece of dreamers.

When you get the chance to see “In the Heights,” be ready to laugh and cry because this film will give you goosebumps. There are a few Easter eggs throughout the movie, so see if you can spot them starting June 11.