top of page

Movie Review: Hamilton: Is he running out of time or not?

Over 244 years ago, a proposed great giant of our past lived in the newly founded United States of America. This great giant of our past is Alexander Hamilton. Lin Manuel Miranda showcased Alexander Hamilton in the musical ‘Hamilton’ which became a Broadway sensation. Lin Manuel Miranda is Tony Award Winning Actor and Director, who directed numerous films and productions including ‘Moana’ and ‘Hamilton’.

Hamilton had some unexpected twist and turns. Lin-Manuel Miranda found a clever themed tune for every character in the drama with different vocals. This play showcases the dark side of Alexander Hamilton and is considered as a historic, tragic comical rap opera.

Genres are very important and can contribute to a musical. Genres are defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “A category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content” (Merriam Webster, 2020, Genre). Hamilton is a hard work of art to classify in the world of genres. The music itself, in Hamilton, explores several different genres including rap, Jazz, and hip-hop. The Musical is difficult to pick a genre.

However, Hamilton can be classified as a historic, tragic comical rap opera. Rap operas are a musical that has some components of hip hop with an operatic sound effect. Hamilton has those elements that can be classified as a rap opera. The play is also tragic because of three reasons.

First, when Eliza was off in the park with her sister, Angelica, and Hamilton was about done with his proposal for Treasury, Hamilton had a scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds. This scandalous affair affected the marital relationship between Eliza and Alexander Hamilton. Angelica was not too happy to hear that Hamilton had a scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds. He wrote them and published them under “The Reynolds Pamphlet.” Angelica knows Eliza very well since they were sisters.

Second, While Eliza and Alexander were in the mode of distrust due to his scandalous affair, His son, Philip, was defending his father. Due to his defense of his father, Phillip entered the duel and ultimately died because he raised his gun in the sky instead of killing his opponent. Eliza was over his body crying her tears away while Alexander Hamilton had a small droplet of tears. Both Eliza and Alexander were heart struck when their son died.

Third, after these two dramatic happened to them, Aaron Burr Sir were angry with Alexander Hamilton which landed himself in a duel with him. Alexander Hamilton ultimately died because he does not believe in killing or shooting a person.

Therefore, the play is considered a historic tragic comical rap opera because of the scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds and the tragic death of Alexander Hamilton. It is comical because of King George III personality. Genres are important because it helps librarians know how to categorize the plays.

To give the musical the credit it deserves, the Actors and where it was produced needs to be discussed. The actors are Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton), Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson), Jonathan Groff (King George III), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler), Christopher Jackson (George Washington), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy Schuyler), Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr Sir), Okieriete Onaodowan (Hercules Mulligan and James Madison), Anthony Ramos (John Laurens and Philip Hamilton), Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton), Carleigh Bettiol (Ensemble), Ariana DeBose (Ensemble), Hope Easterbrook (Ensemble), Sydney James Harcout (Philip Schuyler, James Reynolds, doctor, and ensemble), Sasha Hutchings (Sally Hemings and ensemble), Thayne Jasperson (ensemble), Elizabeth Judd (ensemble), Jon Rua (Charles Lee and Ensemble), Austin Smith (ensemble), Seth Stewart (ensemble), Ephraim Sykes (George Eacker and ensemble). These are all the actors that played a role in ‘Hamilton.’ It was filmed at Richard Rodgers Theatre in Midtown Manhattan in June 2016. (Hough, 2020). The Theatrical rights were held by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Then Walt Disney Studios acquired the theatrical rights for $75 million dollars which is a hunk of change. Deadline Reporter Fleming stated:

According to sources, Disney beat out other suitors and paid $75 million for worldwide rights to the show that 11 Tony Awards in 2016, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Disney won the deal with a commitment for a wide global theatrical release for the 2-hour, 40-minute movie, which was shot two weeks before the original cast left. (Fleming, 2020, para. 2)

The Film was produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller, and Thomas Kail. The Music soundtrack was produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. These actors were believable and showcased the vibrant colors of other nationalities. These nationalities are Latino, African American, Puerto Rican, etc.… Lin Manuel made the nationalities believable in his own way. The diversity of the cast was appreciated. The Casting of Hamilton helped the African American take charge of their narrative. Los Angeles Times reporter David Horsey stated, “

The founding story of the United States that Miranda tells with such bold innovation in ‘Hamilton’ is an important one that needs to be kept alive in the consciousness of all Americans. At a moment when our politics are deeply riven, when fights are breaking out beneath statues of Confederate generals and when even the author of the Declaration of Independence is being attacked for being complicit in the sins of his own era, ‘Hamilton’ reminds us that we are all complex and imperfect people. Whatever the color of our skin, our ambitions and longings can lead to scandalous failures, but also to glorious achievements (Horsey, 2017, para. 2).

David Horsey got it right. It is interesting that ‘Hamilton’ reminds us that we are all not perfect. It is also amazing that America get past racial tensions to produce a riveting production with a vibrant color of nationalities.

This secular drama tragically documents the scandalous affair between Maria Reynolds and Alexander Hamilton. The drama also documents the mistreatment of slaves. John Laurens had the vision of the first African American battalion (regiment). Some critics believe that the Producer Lin-Manuel Miranda discounted the historical context of slavery. However, in a tweet, Miranda responded, “All the criticisms are valid. The Sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t[sic] get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit much as I could in a 2.5 hour [sic] musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game.” This was Miranda response to the criticism. Although the cast was full of vibrant nationalities, He told a modernized story of Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Miranda did an excellent work of art by presenting the historical context. However, Miranda did not cast the right nationality for some of the Characters in the drama including Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. For example, Jefferson was cast to be African American, and Aaron Burr was casted as African American. Like he said, it is story of America in the past but told from the viewpoint of America now.

The play felt, as if, Alexander Hamilton was running towards mortality. He was writing, writing, and still writing. It was like he was running out of time. He was almost writing himself to death. What a morbid thought. Hamilton wrote a lot like he was running out of time. This is documented in the song “Non-Stop.”

The Special Effects in the scenes are exquisite. The used the lighting and stage floor to the fullest capacity. The roundtable special effect was used to showcase all the actors and dancers equally. The blue lights turned on when they were talking about General’s Howe army of 32,000 troops in the harbor. The blue lights had a deterrent because I thought the boats sank but they did not. So, they could have used better lights during that scene. But, overall, the lights were amazing. The Vocals are excellent. Lin-Manuel Miranda had a good voice but was stiff and unrelaxed. It felt as if his voice could not expand to the same level as some of the other actors. Philippa Soo was an excellent Eliza Hamilton. Soo’s vocals were phenomenal. Roo sang very complex song with composure and enthusiasm. The Costumes were delightful and pleasant to the seeing eyes. The Costumes matched the setting which was colonial America. Overall, the presentation of the Hamilton was quite delightful. The Audience was really happy to be seeing Hamilton in Broadway. This was demonstrated by the applause throughout the feature on Disney +.

In Conclusion, this play should be watched because of the morals it presented. First, Alexander Hamilton should have spent more time with his family instead of running towards mortality. Second, Alexander Hamilton should not have had the scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds. Third, Alexander Hamilton should not have been focused on never missing an opportunity because it overlooked the opportunity to spend time with his family. The morals of this retelling are spending more time with your family, engaging in purity of mind, body, and spirit, and enjoying life to the fullest without stressing the idea that everyone will eventually run out of time. You have a limited amount of time, so do not lose your time by obsessing over running out of time. Lin-Manuel Miranda should get credit for coming up with this spectacular spectacle. ‘Hamilton’, the Broadway sensation, is a modern retelling of the great giant of the past––Alexander Hamilton.

References

Fleming Jr., Mike. 2020. ‘Disney Paid $75 million for the worldwide movie rights to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’; Biggest film acquisition deal ever.’ Deadline. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://deadline.com/2020/02/disney-paid-75-million-hamilton-movie-deal-lin-manuel-miranda-largest-film-acquisition-ever-1202849929/

Horsey, David. 2017. ‘ Hamilton gets past race by imagining Founding Father with black and brown faces.’ Los Angeles Times. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-hamilton-jefferson-20170916-story.html

Hough, Q.V. 2020. ‘Hamilton Cast Guide: Where You Recognize the Actors From.’ Screen Rant. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://screenrant.com/hamilton-movie-disney-plus-broadway-cast-character-guide/

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Defenseless to Defended--The Preface

Have you ever felt like you were stuck somewhere, longing to be somewhere else? Do you feel like someone else is controlling your mind (Trying to change your viewpoint into something that you are agai

Comments


bottom of page