Hamilton is the hit Broadway musical by breakout singer-songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not since Cats or Wicked has a Broadway production become so popular outside of the musical community. Hamilton makes history fun with a unique interpretation of Alexander Hamilton’s life set to rap music. Miranda got the idea after reading the Founding Fathers’ biography. Although it is interesting to learn more about the first secretary of treasury and his many overlooked accomplishments, Hamilton was never meant to be entirely historically accurate. The show cast people of color since it already feels modern with all the rapping. I never expected to see a Hamilton movie for reasons like that.
Hamilton (2020) is a pre-recorded performance from 2016 put to film. I never know how to review plays put to film since they’re sometimes more Broadway than movie. I can still appreciate how well it’s performed and the cinematic angles it sometimes possesses. A lot of studios wanted to get their hands on the musical, but the rights ended up in the unlikely hands of Disney. Hamilton ended up on Disney+ with a PG-13 rating that had to censor a few F bombs. The runtime is 2 hours & 40 minutes complete with an intermission. I was pretty into it at first, but you really start to feel the length when you’re watching it at home.
Hamilton features most of the original cast including Miranda as Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Daveed Diggs as Lafayette & Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, and Jonathan Groff as King George III. Most events are dramatized including Hamilton’s war work, romantic exploits, legal actions, financial plannings, and tense relationship with frenemy Aaron Burr. Most songs blur together, but “Alexander Hamilton” and “My Shot” are a big stand out. Hamilton is ultimately a story about being remembered for your accomplishments.