tick, tick...BOOM!

tick, tick...BOOM! ★★½

If I'm being honest I don't like writing mid warm to negative reviews on things, it's a miserable experience, so much effort just to say I wasn't able to latch onto a films internal rhythm or language. Seeing this however compelled me to write because I feel like I can have a dialogue, I feel like I can offer something constructive. After watching something like Red Post on Escher Street which had so much thought-provoking, challenging and revolutionary things to say about creation, the systems and barriers that stifle artistic creation and liberating the extras/behind the scenes people to being just as valued and forward-thinking this seems quite reductionist in comparison. They had such a great opportunity with Johnathans musical SUPERBIA to make a statement about how different and non-traditionalist/non-formalist works of art are rejected by the populous and how we can forward our dialogue with art but no it just leans into "oh well that's the way things are, you will be rejected and you will play second fiddle to corporates who couldn't care less about your work", what am I supposed to get outta that exactly?

Never mind the political and social elements of Larson's work (which were critically important to who he was as an artist) is just relegated to the back seat, only touched on in the last twenty minutes with his best friend (I haven't seen the musical so maybe someone can inform me if this aspect is more prominent in the OG production). I guess that's what happens when you have a director who reinforces and abuses these same notions of status quo. Despite my big grievance with this as a whole I can't deny this as a straight-ahead enjoyable piece about having dreams, trying to make it in an impossible world and if it's possible to hold on to love and hope in the face of adversity. Garfield saves this with his overwhelming charisma (Vanessa Hudgens is adorable in this wish they gave her more screen time) which helps to supersede the "I'm a creative genius woe is me my life is falling apart" white cis narrative.

Of course I'll always give a film points for making me emotional (this did for me in the last act but not really anywhere else) but I wish this just had a single audacious bone in its body. Larson deserves a film that will examine his legacy with the vitality it needs, this just feels too homogenized. We need truly provocative voices of we're ever gonna get these stories told with the urgency they require.

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