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Student Blog: 2 Songs That Shouldn't Have Been Cut From In The Heights


"Inútil" and "Everything I Know" should have been in the film.

Student Blog: 2 Songs That Shouldn't Have Been Cut From In The Heights

The In The Heights film is clear proof that stage to screen adaptations can garner and emotionally move audiences across the world. With 96% critic score and 95% audience score on Flixster, the film is undeniably a smash hit. While the story was slightly changed, it still remained true to the heart of the stage musical and made the story accessible to more audiences. However, I was disappointed to find out that "Inútil" and "Everything I Know" were cut from the movie. These are two of my favorite songs from the musical and they are essential to the characterization of Kevin Rosario as well as his daughter Nina.

Although there was a nod to "Inútil" near the end of the film as some of the instrumental could be heard, it did not serve its key purpose. In the musical, this song allows audiences to dive into Kevin's mind to understand his motivation for giving up everything for his daughter. He does not want to be useless to his daughter like his father was to him. Kevin believes that in order to not be useless, he must find a way to pay for his daughter's elite education. In the film, he appears to be a determined father who wants his daughter to make it out of Washington Heights. He even sells his company to pay for her education.

Without his song, however, we fail to learn his true motivation. Not all parents will sell their company for their kid to go to college since their company is often their dream. In the musical, Kevin's motivation is clearly to provide a better life for his daughter than his father provided for him. In the movie, we lose the familial background that drives Kevin to do whatever it takes to send his daughter to college. It can be assumed he does this since he loves his daughter, but we never know what inspired him to put her dream over his.

In regard to "Everything I Know", I was shocked it was cut. This song is the ultimate tearjerker of the musical and solidifies Nina's relationship with Abuela. As Nina goes through pictures of Abuela, she recognizes that Abuela pushed her to be the best she could be. If she never immigrated to the United States from Cuba, then Nina's life may have taken an entirely different path. The song helps Nina process Abuela's passing and instills confidence in her that she can move on by inspiring her to make Abuela proud forever. This poignant moment is lost in the film and we do not realize the strength of the relationship between Abuela and Nina. Of course, we see Nina mourn Abuela, but we only truly notice Usnavi's relationship with Abuela. By including this incredible song, the film would have heightened emotions and provided context to Nina's relationship with Abuela.

Even though the In The Heights film cut two of the most moving ballads, it still successfully crafted an engaging, important story. "Inútil" and "Everything I Know" would have enhanced the powerful storytelling and filled in gaps in certain characters' arcs. For all we know, these songs could have originally been planned then cut in the editing process! We will just have to wait until a bonus feature edition or deleted scenes get released.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Blake Velick