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In the Heights Review | The Movie of the Year!

“Paciencia y Fé” is the only thing that kept me from loosing it while waiting for In the Heights. Patience during the global melt-down that paralyzed the theatrical industry forcing studios to push films, often aggressively. Faith that the wait would be well worth it.

At the least, films are designed to delight and entertain. Everyone can think of many films they love that have achieved that goal but everyone also has those couple of films that rocked them to their core and filled them with wonder and emotion few other films could. In the Heights is one such film for me. A passion filled piece elevated by incredible writing, music, performances and visuals that beautifully compliment the numerous themes people can gravitate towards and latch on to. This is not your average musical experience.

Washington Heights is a little neighborhood in Manhattan exuding pride and community. Within these blocks live dreamers, all struggling day-to-day to survive but brimming with hope that one day things will be better. At the heart of our story is a group of such dreamers who are working hard to accomplish their Sueñito, even if they don’t know what that is yet. Stop by, sit back and sip some cafe con leche while you experience what life is like In the Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been been having an incredible career and it doesn’t stop here. Though much more recognized for Hamilton, In the Heights is actually his first musical, inspired by his upbringing in the city that never sleeps.

Jon M. Chu does his thing again putting representation on display as he did on Crazy Rich Asians. There was a lot of talk about an Asian director making an utterly Hispanic film but he proved to be incredibly capable of creating something so representative of Miranda’s and my own experience that the doubt is fading away. His attention to detail and commitment to authenticity is astounding.

As a New Yo-Rican I kept being hit by nostalgia because this film is so incredibly accurate to that culture, which is a culture of it’s own. So Hispanic AND so New York, it’s an amalgamation of all these cultures smashing together with that unique attitude of the big city. Heart and hustle. It really is a film unlike any other. A love letter to New York, a love letter to “Patria”, and a love letter to “sueños habidos y por haber”. When life is weighing you down it is hope that keeps us going. It is hope that keeps the poor and oppressed churning and singing with pride. From the outside you see joy, music, and laughter because what else is there to do? Prideful we keep on keeping on making the best out of everything, arm-in-arm until the day our hopes and dreams come true one way or another.

“Everyday paciencia y fé”!

This is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year and one no one should miss! It is fun, emotional, and inspiring. Insanely electrifying from start to finish and more entertaining with every watch as you learn the infectious songs and dances. I just don’t see how anyone doesn’t’ enjoy this film thoroughly. Remember the Hamilton craze? Driving through the streets singing the songs out loud. In the Heights is that with a whole lot of Latin flavor so make sure you catch it on June 11th! Watch it on the biggest screen possible with the best speakers you can find but if you’re still not comfortable with going out, make sure you catch it on HBO Max! No reason to miss this and no excuse for missing out on the conversation of the summer.

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By Raul Navedo

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