Movie Trailer Review: In the Heights

By: Sarah Brill  |  December 18, 2019

By: Sarah Brill 

“What does sueño pequeño mean?” 

“Sueño pequeño, it means little dream.”

With every culturally diverse city, there is a Lin-Manuel Miranda there to write a hard-hitting musical about it. Last week, the musical-made-movie trailer for In the Heights was released, which sparked the retweeting, reposting, and regraming of it across everyone’s feeds. The beautiful trailer encapsulates the lives of the Latinx community in Washington Heights, NY, and the little dreams the people of Washington Heights are made of. 

Usnavi de la Vega, played by Anthony Ramos, is a man who is, without a doubt, doing his best to provide for his family and his future. Later in the trailer, we see him and Usnavi’s cousin, Sonny, played by Gregory Diaz IV, in what looks like a lawyer’s office, pleading with the lawyer to possibly gain citizenship for his grandmother and other family members. This scene showcases the American Dream. The possibility to be free is worth everything and freedom is proven difficult to achieve.

“A dream isn’t some sparkly diamond, there’s no shortcuts, sometimes, it’s rough,” says Usnavi following the meeting with the lawyer. This statement perfectly embodies the lives of Dreamers in America. Sonny makes mention of this stating, “They’re [the government] thinking of kicking out all the Dreamers” — people who have arrived to America as minors and may be eligible for special immigration status. This quote refers to the threat that President Trump and his administration made in late 2017 to expel DACA citizens (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which was enacted in 2012 under President Obama), which would amount to the deportations of over 800,000 people. President Trump and his administration have toyed with this ludicrous idea for some time now, but through the resilience of the people in the Latinx community, they will not achieve their goal. 

“Little details that tell the world, we are not invisible,” the trailer proclaims. The movie will show everyone that this community lives. They live a beautifully cultured life, whether that be with or without strife and difficulty. The trailer showcases the Washington Heights community as a true celebration of Latinx culture. 

In a small corner of the world, where many Latinx people gather through the roughest of times, there lives resilience and perseverance, which is brilliantly captured through this musical. This movie is being made to give a voice to overlooked communities in the Heights. The trailer truly tugs at the heart-strings, and I am confident that the movie will as well. 

The movie will be released on June 26, 2020. 

***   ***

Photo: Lin-Manuel Miranda at Comic Con