An important note, 1iota is noted here because Daniel plus Lauren was invited by e-mail to see this movie musical which was a surprise and not revealed till they arrived, and 1iota made us sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement about seeing “In The Heights”, that was on March 9, 2020 (merely 2 days before COVID19 was declared a pandemic), Daniel plus Lauren wrote this review the next day, expecting it not to be published till June 26, 2020, but the obvious happened, so here we are, 15 months and 1 day later, my review of “In The Heights” down below.
Sky High Above The Mill
You go see a movie that’s a musical, you have a few paths to choose, the classic musical like “West Side Story” or “Carousel” that are timely classics, “Newsies” that’s only a period piece and does nothing for the masses at large, “Rent” that tries to be a musical on film (or live), “Moulin Rouge” that tries sensual and sexual to lure you into its turn of the century story, and let’s not forget the poor attempt that “Cats” tried to make to swoon movie and musical audiences on both sides, and then there’s “In The Heights”, which is the complete opposite in every plus you can give this movie musical that’s more than Broadway on film, it’s a genre of movie immediately electrified thanks to mind of Lin Manuel who’s revived Broadway already with “Hamilton”, bringing that exact vision onto the silver screen.
The place is Washington Heights, way above the Upper West Side, and even above Harlem, it’s a spot in Manhattan where 175th Street is the mecca for being the largest Spanish community in the country, and where “In The Heights” got 100 percent of its inspiration, here you have dreams, poverty, and the pursuit of happiness along with unconditional love, strong emotion, and hopeless devotion to each other in this justified use of dancing and singing to perfectly express the story of “In The Heights”.
As you fight for your dreams, love, how to make the world better, and find out who you are, all the aspects like discovering what love is, making sacrifices so we can have a better future, and fighting for things like DACA, plus fighting against immigration and gentrification, and looking beyond your home to make your home a better place are perfectly placed and balanced to tell this new modern tail of “In The Heights”, without taking away from the original premise, or look like something that’s too modern to even recognize for original audiences of “In The Heights”, or even those new audiences Lin Manuel thrives to get.
Bottom line is “In The Heights” with the vision of Lin Manuel is his original 2008 Broadway show that’s turned into a new classic built to last for years and years, and can be modified if need be when it hits the stages once again while keeping its premise and vision.
For one who’s not a regular patron of musicals and Broadway shows, even someone like yours truly who’s Daniel plus Lauren with their vast knowledge, understanding, and observation of life surely appreciates how captivating “In The Heights” is in all emotions, and the only thing this normal writer of fashion can recommend for all audiences is seeing “In The Heights” for yourself.