Hamilton is an award-winning Broadway that premiered in 2015, based off the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, and is now making its way onto Disney+ this Friday July 3rd. Broadways typically prohibit recording and I assume do not release their productions for at-home viewing as they want to encourage patrons to go see their show live so they can sell out of tickets. After a bidding war with several major studios, Disney claimed the rights over the property and Hamilton was originally slated for release in theaters next year 2021. However, it was decided to release the title on Disney+ since people can’t go see the show at this time due to current events and Broadway being cancelled in 2020.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-produced and wrote the screenplay, stars as the titular character Alexander Hamilton. The film centers around the relationship Hamilton has with his wife Eliza, played by Phillipa Soo, as well as his interactions as a founding father and Treasury Secretary with historical figures Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.), George Washington (Christopher Jackson), and Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) amongst several others.
To be clear; this is an edit of three live performances that were recorded in New York City in 2016 and they are stitched together to give us a seamless representation of the show as if you were there. This is a musical you are watching and it is 100% music and singing but the songs are extremely catchy- Hamilton is a unique anomaly and a piece of cinema I am not used to seeing so there’s nothing to compare the viewing experience to. If you’re on the fence about watching I highly recommend listening to the Broadway tunes on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you stream music. If the music does not capture your attention like it did mine I do not think the film will change your mind because the big selling point here is the inventive music. Yes the performances back up the momentum of the songs and yes the history of Hamilton’s life is educational- but, at least for me, the tunes are why you are eager to go view and stick around for Hamilton which does clock in at a beefy 2 hours and 40 minutes.
There is over two hours of singing since the entire production is sung- so if you do want to preview the music and you’re not sure which tracks to listen to first these are my favorite songs, with My Shot being my #1 favorite. And if you are familiar with the music of Hamilton I’m curious if you have any favorites that are in my list. There are no bad songs in this show but these were the ones that I was extremely excited to re-listen to after first viewing.
Standout vocalists do include Miranda and Soo (who once again play Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton) but I was also blown away by Renée Elise Goldsberry who plays Eliza’s sister Angelica as well as Jonathon Groff who plays King George the III and who you may know as Kristoff in Disney’s Frozen. Everyone in this show sings gloriously but these performers stuck out the most and I was attracted to how each was incredibly unique, bright, resonant, and powerful. They sing high note after high note while appearing unbelievably calm. It’s all done so effortlessly. There’s a high note here, a high note there, and they look totally comfortable and totally in control.
The show is comprised of many non-white actors portraying figures who were white and the music is all modern rap, r&b, pop, showtunes music. The idea behind this was to portray a period of history as it might be today and I think it works tremendously well, in addition to allow latino, african american, and asian culture to be represented where it otherwise may not have been.
Hamilton is exclusive to Disney+ and coincidentally Disney has ended it’s trial program on Disney+ so you will need to have the $6.99 monthly subscription or have someone else in your family that has access to it. If you dig the tunes I think you’re really going to enjoy it.
|Final Verdict:||If you have wanted to see Hamilton live (but could not afford the outrageous ticket prices) the momentum of all these performers is exploding off the screen!|