• Marina Ogawa

Tick, tick… BOOM!


Film/TV drama reaction series (#1):

Tick, tick… BOOM!

*Caution for some spoilers


This film, available on Netflix, is a musical film and a documentary of the life of Jonathan Larson, who is one of the greatest musical theater playwrights of all time. He is most famously known for producing Rent. Lin Manuel-Miranda, who is also a musical theater playwright most famously for writing Hamilton, took the megaphone for this film: it is filled with little droplets and moments of joy for those passionate musical theater lovers out there. But even if you are not a musical theater geek, you will be surprised at how well Spiderman can sing so definitely check it out if you have not already. And for those who have, go on and read the rest of this article. We are discussing some core life values dealt with in this beautiful masterpiece of a film.


‘Fear or love? Don’t say the answer. Actions speak louder than words.’

Andrew Garfield (left) and the director, Lin Manuel-Miranda (right). Image credit: Netflix.

1. Fear or love

Fear or love, it is probably both. Love and fear may be at both ends of the spectrum --- that is what I always say to make sense of things and seem philosophical.

Love for people, for romantic partners, for passions, for art, for life. Anything. Strong love toward anything just consumes, overcomes, and messes you up sometimes. Love is blind; it truly does blind you from things you were able to see before. Whatever you choose, there is no right or wrong because we do not love with logic. But as far as our love takes us, we have to follow: it is as if it is the one thing destined for us. We can never get over the regret or avoid the pull that love emits. So for me, my love is so certain and real. And as long as I feel this way, this is the only way I will live. And that will make my life be of zero regrets.

But this question, “love or fear,” is so critical. Fear drives us in such similar ways that love does. It blinds us from what is truly important; it moves and pushes us in directions so strongly for us to avoid some things and not get hurt. But to stop and listen to ourselves and to question what we are motivated by is a valuable time. It does not matter which one we choose or which one we believe we are being motivated by, since the truth is, love and fear are interconnected; they are at both ends. So when you stop and think, ask yourself just this, “Which do I want to be motivated by? Fear or love?” and here you will find your answer and your courage to take action in what you believe in at that moment in time.


2. Actions speak louder than words

But it is true. It is like the film, as well as Jonathan Larson, in which his existence and his works and all that he did in itself prove this lyric. Actions speak louder than words, I will definitely regret not taking action and that is something I strongly, strongly believe in.

At times, you may think (and I’ve definitely felt this way) that with this idea in mind, you find yourself feeling like you have scarred yourself, and you have absolutely no way to fix it or undo the scar you have made. But as the phrase, “time heals” depicts, it is true that sometimes if you choose to take action, it transforms and changes into a valuable asset of your life experiences --- no matter whether the action was successful or a complete disaster.

And the gist of it here is that it is not about whether the action is right or wrong. It could be completely wrong and you may realize you have made a horrible mistake. But would you have not done it if someone had told you it was wrong beforehand, but you had believed so strongly that it was something righteous? Yes. We come back to “actions speak louder than words.” It is just how it works sometimes; you need to experience certain things with your own hands, eyes, and ears to know, learn, and accept for sure rather than someone telling you or reading about it. It is the only way we humans can grow, learn, and explore. And that is why life is so long and we continuously make mistakes.

So let us make as many mistakes as we can, take action in all we believe in, move on with our lives motivated by both love and fear, and enrich our lives both externally and internally. I hope you have found a piece of a ‘word’ here that has motivated you to take ‘action.’ Remember: actions speak louder than words.



Edited by Emiru Okada

Graphic by Maya Kubota