Michael Marino’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Story of Jonathan Larson is a heartbreaking one that I've been familiar with for a long time in my life now.
Many years ago, before watching tick, tick...BOOM! today I had initially learned who Larson was when I rented the Rent film (he-he) version on DVD at a video store when I was around eight years old. This would be at the beginning of 2006, I gather.
For some weird reason, my 8-year-old self enjoyed the film and watched it extensively. I also purchased the movie's official soundtrack to force my mother to listen to it in the car, much to her dismay.
In retrospect, the film was probably how I first learned about the LGBTQ+ community. And you can probably recollect how your brain reacted to understanding this at a young age. When you suddenly realized that two people from the same party might be in love with one other, it was a lot to take in.
From then on, I believe I saw the film a couple more times after that, but I'll get to my point about how I first learned about Larson and his significant impact on the musical theatre world. Whenever I start writing my fictional memoirs, I'll be able to go into more detail about all of these random recollections of my life better. For now, let’s just continue.
Nevertheless, when I rented the film version of Rent back in the day, there was a whole two-hour documentary on the second disc of the DVD version. Do you remember when movies came with two DVDs with some bonus features on them? Anyway, the two-hour documentary on the DVD was about Jonathan Larson and how he came to bring Rent into tuition just before his untimely death at the age of 35 on the day of the off-Broadway premiere of Rent.
So, when it was time for me to watch Tick, tick...BOOM! You might say I was suitably prepared for what the film would turn out to be, and let me tell you, it was great.
Miranda's film is a little wonky in the grand scheme of things. However, knowing how challenging it would be for anybody to compress something that began as a one-person show and was later revised as a three-person performance (after Larson's death.) I'd say that the film put together here was quite impressive for someone generally regarded for their involvement in the musical theater industry and has never directed anything cinematic in their life.
However, it is not Miranda's directing that handles all of the heavy liftings in making the film as good as it is really. It's, of course, Andrew Garfield in the role of Larson here.
His performance was, in my opinion, simply outstanding. I mean, hell, the folks behind this movie went on to make the man look like fucking Kramer of all people with his hairstyle, and the chap still brought me to tears here.
To be honest, it takes a lot for me to ignore the fact that I'm watching an actor performing someone while delivering lines written by someone else. Garfield achieved that for me, and he was very convincing in doing so, too also. Hell, if it were up to me, he'd be the front-runner for best actor right now, even though I know Will Smith will win it instead of him this year.
I'll wrap it up here. Truthfully, I think this was one of the most fascinating pieces of media I'd ever seen about a writer. Precisely, a composer who is constantly bothered that time will be cut short for them in creating something that will make them feel creatively worthwhile within their lives, even if that time never indeed runs out in the end. Actually, when you think about it, he actually did run out of time, but I don't want to be mean, lol.
Thanks for reading. RIP, Larson, a tremendously creative man who sadly departed us far too young in life, just as many other great artists of our time do.
No Day But Today