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Monday, October 25, 2021

Movie Music Monday: The second tick, tick... BOOM! soundtrack drop speaks "Louder Than Words"

Film Flam Flummox

The first officially released track from Lin-Manuel Miranda's film of Jonathan Larson's musical tick, tick... BOOM!, "30/90," was understandably the auditory answer to the question, "Can Andrew Garfield pull off the singing?" (Short answer: yes.) So it would follow that the second official release would be a song that featured more of the cast, and that song would be the one that is most prominently featured in the film's two trailers, "Louder Than Words." Where "30/90" answered the most burning question about Miranda's film, the seemingly straightforward "Louder Than Words" raises some new ones. On stage, the song is the show's rousing closer (a concept Larson would take to even more cathartic heights with the indelible "Finale B" in Rent), sung by the thinly veiled Larson avatar "Jon" and the two other actors in the three-person cast, whose primary characters (of a few) are that of his girlfriend Susan and best friend Michael. Alexandra Shipp and Robin de Jesús, respectively, play those roles in the film, but joining Garfield (who, after hearing him effortlessly carry two tracks now, I no longer have any vocal doubts about) as Jonathan Larson are not that pair but another, Vanessa Hudgens (who plays actress Karessa Johnson) and Joshua Henry, whose "Roger" character (exact relation to the Larson character still unknown) also lent support on "30/90." This implies an alteration of the song's exact context in the film, possibly as part of a show Larson stages, which is strongly suggested by the shots of Garfield performing the song at a piano in the full trailer. However the number plays out in the film, Miranda's longtime collaborator Alex Lacamoire's production is suitably polishes the already-strong tune for the cinema, and the final bit is as quietly, understatedly moving as it is on the livestage and the 2001 Original Off-Broadway cast recording.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's film of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick... BOOM! is set for release in select cinemas on Friday, November 12 before streaming worldwide on Netflix on Friday, November 19. The film is set to have its world premiere as the opening night film of AFI FEST 2021 on Wednesday, November 10.

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