Review: ‘Hamilton’

Hamilton

Hamilton is ready to set Disney+ ablaze on July 3rd across the world. What started as a few off-beat lyrics performed inside the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama into a phenomenon. Hamilton, in just a very short period, has achieved iconic status. When people say the names Madonna, Cher, Sting, and The Beatles, we all know not only the who they are but how they’ve touched our lives. Hamilton has ascended to that status in a rather rapid manner. The musical is more than just a smart way to teach about a historical figure. It’s reflective of our collective struggle both in the past and even now in 2020. It certainly wasn’t an accident that Miranda has mostly minorities in the cast. Even now, we need to rise and fight for what we believe.

Hamilton
Daveed Diggs is Marquis de Lafayette, Okieriete Onanodowan is Hercules Mulligan, Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. Aaron Burr, and Anthony Ramos, is John Laurens, in ‘Hamilton’ the filmed version of the original Broadway production.

Hamilton’s release this week represents an exciting twist in the film world. With both the Academy and Hollywood Foreign Press making adjustments to the eligibility rules for releases to be considered, there’s a scenario in which Disney could push this film during the recently expanded award season. The question is whether or not Disney would go all-in on this title. With the film landscape being what it is for 2020-21, why wouldn’t they? Disney didn’t pay 80 million just to leave this title be. Sure, it certainly is a draw for their streaming service. Still, with the theatrical release of Hamilton being adjusted due to Covid-19, it makes the title eligible under the new submission guidelines.

Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton and Phillipa Soo is Eliza Hamilton in ‘Hamilton,’ the filmed version of the original Broadway production.

Feeding the speculation about Hamilton’s award prospects is the cinematic choices that were made. The musical was shot in a very meticulous manner by Declan Quinn. Quinn was very selective in the number of closeups during the filming of the musical. He only reserved for the more emotional beats of the film. It also seemed he had a camera fixed on the circular portion of the stage to highlight it’s importance in the musical. This wasn’t just a one-camera shoot. Every manner in the filming seemed as deliberate as the words Miranda crafted into these lyrics.

Performance-wise, this ensemble was magnificent. While this isn’t shocking to anyone but when a film has the level of expectations which Hamilton had, there’s always the chance of a letdown. Renée Elise Goldsberry,  Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, really stood out in my opinion and could start generating buzz among critics. Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. were equally enjoyable as well. There’s nothing that’s been released this year that can even be compared to Hamilton. Whether that means the film is destined for success during award season remains to be seen. Just keep in mind that in a year were anything that could happen has, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

'Hamilton' Review
  • Overall
5

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