November 29, 2022

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In The Heights (2021)

3 min read

In the heights is a musical drama from the writer of Hamilton the smash broadway show, the movie centres on a vvariety of characters living in a New York neighbourhood of Washington Heights hence the title, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Manhattan. The movie follows the lives and decisions of a number of latinos form the neighbourhood centreing on a main character Usnavi, who owns a bodega (a convenience store) who looks after an aging cuban lady he sees as the mother figure as he pines for who he believes to be the love of his live Vanessa who herself has dreams of moving out to the big city. We follow as he dreams of moving back to the home country of cuba to rebuild his dead fathers bar on the beach and of winning the lotter to meet his dreams.

Meanwhile, as a side story we also follow Nina, a childhood friend of Usnavi’s, who has returned to the neighborhood from her first year at college with surprising news for her parents, who have spent their life savings on building a better life for their daughter. Selling parts of the family business, putting themselves into hardship.. all to see her get the better life they always yurned for. Ultimately, Usnavi and the residents of the close-knit neighborhood get a dose of what it means to be home.

The movie is one long song and dance number, very well made the songs are meaningful and you can definately see the influences of hamilton in most of Usnavi’s as he wraps/sings like the stars of hamilton do.

All in all this is a nice movie with a predictable ending although, and without spoiling it, see if you can see the twist as we go through his storytelling, as i missed it. The ending is hearfelt way of saying life is what happens whilst were making other plans in the best way.

I did cringe a little at some of the street numbers, and wonder where in a powecut they got music from but these are just little nigles.

Trivia for you – the movie was first to be produced back in 2008 ready for 2011 but it was put on hold, this only comes to be a point if you listen to the lyrics of the song “When Youre home”, Nina sings, “And the 1-slash-9 climbed a dotted line to my place,” to which Benny retorts, “There’s no 9 train now.” The 9 train was discontinued in 2005. If Nina is supposed to be about nineteen (just finished her first year of college), she would’ve been born in 2002, which means she would’ve been too young to remember the 9 train.

The Bronx Grand Concourse address given for the new beauty shop is a residential block, there are no commercial businesses.

There is no el train in the Heights, the subway runs underground. These sequences were likely shot in Brooklyn. They look like the same area where Tony strutted in “Saturday Night Fever”

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