In the Heights follows several New York residents as they chase their dream and sing for a better life.
Bodega owner Usnavi is where the film’s main story lies but the tale of Sonny is the most heart-wrenching of all.
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead*
What In the Heights about?
Released on June 10th in the US and based on the Broadway musical of the same name, In the Heights follows several residents of New York City’s Washington Heights.
The film’s main character is Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a likeable and magnetic bodega owner who dreams of being able to take over his father’s business in the Dominican Republic.
However, life throws numerous challenges in Usnavi’s direction and towards his family and friends who all have dreams of their own.
Who is Sonny?
Played by Gregory Diaz IV, Sonny is Usnavi’s 16-year-old cousin and he spends his days helping out at the bodega.
As Usnavi becomes more convinced about leaving the US for the Domincan Repbulic to follow his dream, he asks Sonny to join him in his adventure.
However, when Usnavi proposes the idea to Sonny’s father, we learn that they are undocumented immigrants and are therefore not allowed a number of basic amenities including the ability to leave the country or go to college.
In the Heights: What happens to Sonny?
- Sonny is given a winning lottery ticket so that he can afford to apply to stay in the United States.
One of the key story threads running throughout In the Heights is that of a winning lottery ticket that was bought in Usnavi’s bodega.
The identity of the winner is a huge mystery among the Washington Heights residents before it’s later revealed that Abuela, the matriarch of the community, is the owner of the ticket.
However, before she can claim the winnings, the elderly Abuela passes and the ticket gets passed down to Usnavi.
The money would be a huge help to Usnavi of realising his dream of moving to the Dominican Republic but after the severity of Sonny’s case is made clear to him, he has a change of heart.
Instead of spending the money himself, Usnavi gives the winning lottery ticket to Sonny and his father so that they can afford the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) application fees that would allow Sonny to remain and work in the United States.
According to Screen Rant, Sonny’s story is one of the biggest changes between the original In the Heights Broadway show and the new film as he was previously a background character but now has a much more crucial role.
In the Heights is out now in US cinemas and is also available on HBO Max. The film releases in the UK on June 18th.