Review: ‘Stuck’ is a Celebration of Life and Empathy
“In the city’s underground, there’s a symphony of sound…There’s a beauty in the song, a kind of kinship that we borrow.”
Have you ever ridden the subway surrounded by people, wondering what their stories are? What do you have in common? What brought you all together at this exact moment, in this specific subway car? The movie musical, Stuck, brings those exact questions to light. Stuck is a celebration of life and empathy at a time when society is constantly trying to tear us apart by our differences.
The critically acclaimed New York City musical stars Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul), Amy Madigan (Gone Baby Gone, Field of Dreams), Grammy award winner Ashanti, Arden Cho (Teen Wolf, Chicago Med), Omar Chaparro (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Show Dogs), and Gerard Canonico (Be More Chill, Not Fade Away). Stuck was written by Michael Berry and Riley Thomas, directed by Berry, and produced by Mike Witherall (John Wick) and Joe Mundo (Sunset Strip, Cardboard Boxer). The movie was based on Thomas’ original stage musical, which opened in Chicago in 2008, and played off-Broadway with the New York Musical Festival in 2012.
The pop musical movie is about six strangers who happen to get stuck on the same subway car in New York City. Throughout the movie, they learn about each other’s past and present while confronting their own prejudices towards their ideas of each other. Through the power of music, the six strangers are able to unexpectedly change each other’s lives, as well as realize that there is more to people than our brief assumptions we may have of them.
Throughout the movie, we get a glimpse into each characters’ life through the songs they sing, whether that be about their current situation, future hopes, past experiences, or loved ones. The audience, along with the characters, gains a better understanding of who the people truly are outside of the subway car. The songs themselves range from a variety of genres depending on who is singing, which helps the characters tell their stories.
The movie ends as it begins: the subways continuing on, and people heading to and from their destinations. Yet for these six strangers, fellow acquaintances at the very least, their lives have been changed. They have left an imprint on each others’ lives that will forever change their view of the world and those around them. “In the city’s underground, there’s a symphony of sound, a sonnet chaos for the lost before they’re found. There’s a beauty in the song, a kind of kinship that we borrow. For no matter how you hate it, I know I’ll see you here tomorrow, down on the subway.”
At its core, Stuck is about empathy and understanding, and compels us to examine how we may or may not see others for who they truly are. This heartwarming movie musical is a must see for anyone who needs a reminder of just how raw and beautiful the human experience can be.