In The Heights: The musical that will steal your heart
In The Heights is a movie full of liveliness for the lust of life. It centres around community and the daily struggles of making a living, finding love or establishing a place in the world. Important moments that will forever change the life of the individuals involved.
Anthony Ramos’ Usnavi, is a corner-shop owner saving up to return to the Dominican Republic and reopen his father’s old beach bar, as his neighbourhood redevelops, and old businesses are pushed out. He’s crushing on Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), who’s planning to move downtown and start her own dress shop. Meanwhile the exceptional Nina (Leslie Grace) is back in town from Stanford. She left as a straight-A student and as the hope of her family and friends. But returns with a secret, causing conflict with her dad (Jimmy Smits) but bringing her closer to her once and perhaps future love, Benny (Corey Hawkins). Around this hub there’s a cast of small cousins, salon girls and caring grandmothers. With plot lines of disastrous dates, winning the lottery, the difficulty of ‘Dreamers’ (undocumented immigrants) and a New York blackout taking place during a heatwave.
This movie is about real people, doing real jobs and trying to make a difference around them. As Abuelita put it “the little details that tell the world we are not invisible”. It’s a soppy, inspiring, deeply felt musical that will pull on your heart strings. The characters played by the cast take enormous pride in their heritage and defend their cultural footprint against the invading forces of New York development. It’s filled with energy and resilience which makes the movie richly entertaining and tremendously joyful. A recommended must watch!