Tucked away in Washington Heights, New York is a vibrant and tight-knit community with a sparkle for the lust of life; singing about facing the daily struggles of making a living, finding love or even trying to establish their place in the world.
The movie ‘In The Heights’ centres around characters who are on a mission to chase their dreams. Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), Bodega owner on his daily grind, who’s saving up to return to his hometown Dominican Republic and revive and reopen his father’s old beach bar for a better life.
As his neighbourhood gentrifies, old businesses are pushed out. He’s crushing on Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), whose dream is to start her own dress shop and is putting an action to her plan by moving downtown.
Meanwhile the exceptional Nina (Leslie Grace) is back in town from Stanford. She left as a golden girl and as the hope of her family and friends, but returns with a secret, causing a rift in her relationship with her dad (Jimmy Smits), but brings her closer to her once and possibly future love, Benny (Corey Hawkins).
Around this hub of a small community there’s a cast of little cousins, salon girls and caring grandmothers. With plot lines of catastrophic dates, winning the lottery, the difficulty of ‘Dreamers’ (undocumented immigrants) and a New York blackout in the middle of a heatwave.
‘In The Heights’ is a raw authentic movie, about genuine people doing genuine jobs while trying to make their world a better place for them and their loved ones. It’s a heartfelt, deeply inspiring musical full of soppiness that will tug on your heart.
The musical highlights the characters immense pride of their Latino heritage and their cultural influence against the raiding forces of New York development. The resilience throughout the community and the support they offer each other is superbly engaging and extremely joyful to watch. Out in UK cinemas now.