In Havana, Cuba, Marta Sandoval (Gloria Sandoval) and Andrés (Juan de Marcos Gonzalez) are partners in love and music, until Marta receives an offer too good to be true taking her from their beloved Cuba to Florida. Decades laters, just as she is about to retire and mails a letter to Andrés inviting him for a final retirement performance. In all these years, Andrés and his pet capuchin monkey, Vivo play the plaza every day for tips and have become best buds. But, Vivo soon finds himself on adventure to America to complete what Andrés was not physically able to do.
Vivo is literally a love letter to Cuba, it’s style and music legacy brought to life by Oscar nominated director Kirk DeMicco and his co-screenwriter Quiara Alegría Hudes (In The Heights) bring the lyrics of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s optimistic bright heart to the center of the film. What Vivo (Lin Manuel-Miranda) goes through is painful, but he learns that friends, music, and collaboration help you move forward. With love in your heart, you can learn to move on and find new meaning no matter what. One of my favorite moment is watching Vivo catching Andrés letter to Marta and crying as the plaza fountain looks like tears. It’s one of those moments that wraps this story around your heart and soul getting its audience invested in whatever is about to go down.
It’s so exquisitely colorful and captures the flavors of Cuba, Key West, the Florida Everglades and Miami with Caribbean color palates that make you want to go out and grab a tropical cocktail. The people of Cuba have a fire and passion in their songs and rhythms that allow to you see their pride for themselves and their family, which is brought to life from composer and longtime Miranda musical collaborator Alex Lacamoire with the heart only the son of a cuban immigrant could connect with.
Vivo is funny, heartbreaking and reminds one that love is where your heart lives and those we love live on in our spirits, our hearts and our minds for eternity.