Fifth about The Seventh

In the Heights

In the Heights: Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical play has a bit too many stories to tell. Even though ostensibly there is one real protagonist, its symbolic protagonist is the whole neighborhood; that doesn’t allow for many of the stories to properly breathe and come to life. It is a pity because the main characters are all engaging and attractive. This being a musical, however, makes the film as much about the songs and their staging. Miranda’s music is highly energetic and drinks from many sources within Latin America, but the only truly memorable song is the one that gives its title to the film. Visually, however, Chu (alongside his collaborators, chiefly director of photography Alice Brooks, editor Myron Kerstein, and production designer Nelson Coates) puts together some very inventive setpieces; they are colorful, dynamic, and large-scale even when the song is more intimate. The four protagonists are played by Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Anthony Ramos, and Corey Hawkins, all very talented, charming, and charismatic performers. Olga Merediz is very touching as the neighborhood’s matriarch, and Jimmy Smits has a good presence as well.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Casting a ballot – 26th Annual ADG Awards | Fifth about The Seventh

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