I was excited to catch the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2005 Broadway musical In The Heights, and I’m not disappointed.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2, Crazy Rich Asians), the movie brings light to the hopes and struggles of the Latino community in Washington Heights through a series of rousing singalong songs and energetic mass dance routines. Fans of musicals like me would likely leave the movie theatre feeling all charged up.
But there’s more to the story than just a blast of feel-good entertainment. Unlike Jon M. Chu’s previous film Crazy Rich Asians (2018), which casts a spotlight on high society Asian characters, In the Heights is about how the Latino immigrants and their children try to survive, thrive, and make a mark as a minority race in New York City.
There are depictions of how the Latino characters cope with racism in the white-majority society. There are portrayals of how families and the community banded together in the face of adversity. And I was particularly moved by these heartwarming scenes.
Despite the backlash against the apparent casting preference for lighter-skinned actors in the lead roles, I think the film still deserves credit for putting together a beautiful tribute to the Latino community and their vibrant culture on the big screen.
Check out my review in this video and decide for yourself if you’d like to catch the show.