tick, tick...BOOM!

tick, tick...BOOM! ★★

Andrew Garfield is having a very specific year: earlier he was very great in Mainstream, a bad film about the absolute very worst kind of Angelino, and here he is, very great in a bad film about the very worst kind of New Yorker. I'm not at all the target audience for this: I think Rent is a fucking terrible show with an extraordinarily disproportionate negative impact on the subsequent history of the Broadway musical, so a story about "when will Jonathan Larson figure out how to get out of his own way and let his genius flow to make his generation-defining smash hit?" holds almost no appeal to me. Directing this with far too much self-regarding sentimentality, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't helping the movie at all, though to his credit, the biggest aesthetic shortcomings - clunky camera positions, flat staging, smeary lighting - are pretty much just the things that happen when neophyte directors are handed the keys to a movie, or when pretty much anybody makes a movie for Netflix. Romanticizes things that don't deserve to be romanticized, and the "fuck no I'm almost 30!" ticking clock is laughably insufficient as a source for all of the film's dramatic stakes. Garfield, bless him, seems to be much more aware of the character's negative aspects than Miranda does, or even the rest of the cast, and plays him as a far more interesting, ambivalent portrait of the artist as a young prick than the movie deserves.

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