Lin-Manuel Miranda serves a banquet of sumptuous joy; a feast for the pandemic-starved, melancholic, woebegone viewer; from its marvelous commencement to its spectacular conclusion, its edifying, glorious, musically magnificent score, innovative, ingenious choreography, stupendous cinematography, culturally iconic scenario, miraculously refashioned an audience steeped in a despondent, yearlong fug, into an exuberant mass, kvelling, knowing this is the stuff of happiness. I loved this movie, there are not enough adjectives to describe its therapeutic, healing prowess: a cast so compellingly perfect, stratospheric attributes: singing, dancing, emoting, impossible to choose a favorite; Anthony Ramos, “Usnavi” harmonizes his roots (Dominican Republic) his life in the Washington Heights neighborhood, his dream (sueno) of returning to the land of his ancestors; comprised of an entirely Spanish-speaking cast (“Benny” , Corey Hawkins, the only exception) presciently sculpt a culture deserving of approbation, lionization, signifying the multiculturalism that makes America preeminent.
Impossible to enumerate, specifically, one splendid scene following another; focusing on immigrants, their progeny, ambitions pulsating at the core of each narrative; not an ounce of villainy, meanness, dares to taint its sublimity; goodness, beauty reverberate through its dazzling 2h 23m. Two precious scenes moved me to “heights” long dormant: “Abuela (grandmother) Claudia” (Olga Merediz) paraphrases her life’s journey, melodiously, achingly, poignantly, unforgettably seared in my memory; a dance sequence, reminiscent of Fred Astaire’s orbital performance in “Royal Wedding”, “Nina” (Ariana Greenblatt) and Benny, dance off the walls, rooftops, fly, flirt with the celestial and soar.
I could not imagine anything besting “Hamilton”; “In the Heights” champions the lives and plights of those overlooked, disenfranchised, neophytes, worthy of the same pedestal as our Founding Fathers!