Oscars 2022: Tick, tick… Boom!

Tick, tick… Boom!’ is a film about many things: love, friendship, time, money, balance, mentors, AIDS… But most of all it’s about following our dreams. And about the price we pay for doing so.

Jonathan is a young composer, lyricist and playwright who never has enough money and lives a very Bohemian life in New York City. During the weekends he works at a diner called Moondance and during the week he writes his futuristic musical ‘Superbia’. He is very aware of the fact that he is getting older and hears the clock ticking, reminding him that he is running out of time. But he still decides to just follow his dream and keeps on writing one more song that will define the whole show.

The main idea of ‘Superbia’ reminds us very vividly of our current reality. ‘A satire set in the future on a poisoned planet Earth, where the vast majority of humanity spend their entire lives just staring at the screens of their media transmitters, watching the tiny elite of the rich and powerful, who film their own fabulous lives like TV shows.’ Sounds familiar? Jonathan has been working on this musical for eight years and what helps him keep on going is the fact that other people believe in him.

The motive of passing of time is strongly present in the whole film. It’s not just Jon who worries that he is going to be 30 soon and no more ‘a young writer’. As he explains: ‘You get to a certain age and you stop being a writer who waits tables and you become a waiter with a hobby.’ His girlfriend Susan is also running out of time and she has to make a decision about her future and either accept or refuse a job offer. And so is his friend Michael who finds out that he is HIV-positive as well as another friend, Freddy, has AIDS and ends up in a hospital. Jon recalls going to the funerals of three more friends… So the idea of wasted time is constantly recurring.

It makes Jonathan realize that what really matters is the here and now, being present and grounded. His girlfriend calls him to come back to his senses, all five of them. But he struggles with being honest and vulnerable. When he gets writer’s block, he decides to just go swimming. And that’s when his inspiration comes back to him. Because we become the tool of the shared consciousness when we connect with our body and just breath. Swimming or walking in nature is perfect for that. We just need to keep on pursuing our goals. It’s all about living life led by love and not by fear.

As Jon’s agent explains: ‘You start writing the next one. (…) And on and on, and that’s what it is to be a writer, honey. You just keep throwing them against the wall and hoping against hope that eventually, something sticks. (…) On the next one, maybe try writing about what you know.’

‘Tick, tick… Boom!’

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