Netflix’s Tick, Tick… BOOM! tells us the story of a musical that is within a musical, and that embedded inside of a movie. To add to that, we have an ever-present feeling of a musical written by Jonathan Larson that was not even released at the time Lin-Manuel Miranda has set this movie. It all sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? Well, what is not confusing about this movie is the image of the beautiful ’90s that we see through the entire film.
We see Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield) and his friends living in the city of New York during the 1990 decade. Sure, we have seen the ’90s being recreated dozens of times, but the way this Netflix Original movie has done it is pure magic. So, why don’t we look back at the recreation of the New York of the ’90s, and once again celebrate Tick, Tick… BOOM! for the sheer beauty it is?
How Tick, Tick… BOOM! captured the life in New York
One thing we all noticed while watching Tick, Tick… BOOM! was how this movie managed to capture the daily life of the New Yorkers during the ’90s era. We see the hustle and bustle of the last decade of the 20th century every single time Johnny steps out in the real world. Be it a ride on his bike when he drives down the road; picking up ideas as he goes and noting them in his diary, or the times when he takes the subway surrounded by a plethora of people who in some way or the other had struggles of their own.
We see a number of intriguing posters, old and intriguing cars, and of course the struggle of the big cities people sleeping on the pavements. Tick, Tick… BOOM! gives us a rather realistic image of the ’90s, and it is gritty and aesthetic!
The beauty and art of the 20th century
Another beautiful thing that catches our eye is the scenes we see unfold during the song “Sunday” when Johnny and everyone at the Moondance Diner break off into a beautiful musical number about the one day every week when the world is supposed to rest. The scene where the entire street joins in the imagination inside Johnny’s head is truly amazing and so are the details we see in the scene.
Another alluring thing to notice is the presence of graffiti throughout the course of the movie. The scenes where Johnny and Susan are on a date, or even when we are just moving through the cities with the characters. The New York created by Tick, Tick… BOOM! is indeed a thing of beauty, and you need to experience it at least once.