In the Heights is a Hollywood musical romantic drama. The movie has been produced by Quiara Alegria Hudes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Scott Sanders, Mara Jacobs, and Anthony Bregman. It has been directed by Jon M Chu of “Crazy Rich Asians” fame. The screenplay is by Quiara Alegria Hudes.
The movie is based on the award-winning 2008 Broadway show by the same by Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The latter has provided the music and lyrics as well.
The movie’s main cast includes Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera, with Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Olga Merediz, Gregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits as the supporting cast. In the Heights is a movie that shows social issues like bureaucracy and bigotry despite being full of love, music, and color.
The plot of In the Heights
The movie and its trailer begin with a Latin origin man Unsavi de la Vega, a character played by Anthony Ramos, narrating a story to a group of children in a beachside bar.
As the name of the bar “El Suenito,” meaning the little dream reveals, the movie is all about the dreams, the fantasies, the goals, and the aspirations of its characters.
It is also about hard work and heartbreak. In the Heights is a multilayered generational story about the American dream- a dream that the Latin American immigrants dream after migrating to the “promised land.”
Usnavi is a second-generation American whose father, who is now dead, immigrated to the US in the 20th century and opened a bodega in the neighborhood of Washington Heights.
Usnavi works here with his cousin Sonny, played by Gregory Diaz IV. Usnavi has very fond memories of his childhood spent in the Dominican Republic, which according to him, was the best time of his life.
He has other neighbors like Kevin Rosario, played by Jimmy Smits, who runs a cab service in the neighborhood. He has come to New York from Puerto Rico and dotes on his daughter Nina, played by Leslie Grace, who studies at Stanford.
Usnavi’s love interest is Vanessa, played by Melissa Barrera, who works in a salon owned by Daniela (played by Daphne Rubin-Vega), and dreams to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
Another love story in the movie involves Nina, who is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Benny, played by Corey Hawkins, who works for Kevin as his dispatcher.
The characters of In the Heights are dreamers, hard-workers, generous, modest, and proud at the same time, which makes it a feel-good movie. The songs are very catchy, foot-tapping, and pleasing to the ears.
In the Heights Review
The movie has some highly emotional moments, like the song “Paciencia y Fe,” sung and performed by Olga Merediz. The song is about the struggle and difficulties faced by Abuela Claudia after immigration to the USA from Cuba.
However, In the Heights also has some moments that are not original and memorable despite being delightful and heartwarming. The film is fun to watch and will not get boring despite seeming a bit too long.
Anthony Ramos is a theatrical singer, along with being an actor. This, along with his charm, makes him an excellent fit for the role of Usnavi.
However, all the other cast members are equally crucial for the movie, even though Usnavi is the main character. Christopher Scott has also done a great job as the choregrapher, while the editing may not be as good. It is more like a feel-good movie which the fans will enjoy for sure.
Release date of In the Heights
In the Heights is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was scheduled to release on January 26, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. So instead, it was premiered on June 4, 2021, at the LA Latino Internation Film Festival.
It will be released across the theatres in the US on June 11, 2021, and will also be streaming on HBO Max. This 143-minute movie was made on a budget of $55 million and is rated as PG-13.