HAMILTON – Film Review

The broadway musical Hamilton premiered in The Public Theatre in New York City on January 20, 2015. Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, and Phillipa Soo just to name a few, it depicts the life and career of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis. The first act covers Hamilton’s arrival in New York City in 1776, his work as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the American Revolution, and how he met and married Eliza Schuyler. The second act covers Hamilton’s postwar work as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and his death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Hamilton is a musical that I have wanted to see ever since its debut five years ago. Some people may not know that I absolutely adore musicals. Since I live in a city that doesn’t get a lot of Broadway attention, I have never gone to a musical in my life. But one of the ones that I’ve always wanted to see was Hamilton. Although I may not be able to see this story performed live in person anytime soon, I finally got to see this live-taped film on Disney+ and it was definitely worth the wait.

The greatest thing that this film does is inject a sense of enormous energy right from the opening scene and keeps it going right down to the very last minute. It’s a two and a half-hour long movie, and it admittedly does feel quite long and exhausting after a while, but it’s never boring per se. The charisma and energy that every single cast members brings to this production feel so lively and full of life. While watching them sing, dance, and tell a story on the stage, I could almost feel their passion for this story seeping out of them. I had a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (left) as Alexander Hamilton and Phillipa Soo (right) as Eliza Hamilton in Hamilton (2020).

All of the musical numbers are hugely impressive, too, for a number of reasons. For one, they are all incredibly fun to listen to and have catchy rhyming lyrics that will surely stick in your head for a long time afterward. It’s even more incredible that these lyrics were written by lead-star Lin-Manuel Miranda. He manages to tell fascinating stories in each song and also incorporates amazing humor in a lot of them as well. It was a blast to listen to and watch.

There are some instances in which a lot of the lyrics are sung a bit fast, and so it can be quite easy to miss what some of the actors are saying, and as a result, you can miss crucial story beats along the way. But if you have a careful ear, you should have no problem having a great time with this production. Hamilton is one of the most alive and upbeat Broadway musicals I have ever witnessed. It’s ridiculously fun to watch and tells an interesting and captivating story. After watching it, I want to see it in person even more than I already did.

Hamilton is a powerhouse of a Broadway musical thanks to its incredibly catchy, well-written songs and its hugely talented and lively cast.

Overall Grade: A-

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some suggestive material

Cast: Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo

Directed by: Thomas Kail

Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Release Date: July 3, 2020

Running Time: 160 minutes

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