By: Lola Nordlinger
Critics and viewers alike have been raving about the historical rap-based musical, Hamilton since it came to the stage in 2015. The high prices and competitive demand for tickets kept many people out of the room where it happened, forcing them to rely on the soundtrack and their imagination. Beginning July 3rd, a Disney+ subscription became the sole requirement to view this critically acclaimed musical.
Lin Manuel Miranda created the soundtrack and storyline while helping to produce the play and star in the role of Alexander Hamilton. His inspiration for the musical came to him after reading Ron Chernow’s biography on the historical figure, entitled, Alexander Hamilton. Miranda quickly became obsessed with the life of Alexander Hamilton and spent the next 7 years creating the musical. Once it hit Broadway, the show immediately took off. In 2016, after 8 shows, Hamilton grossed around 3.3 billion dollars. This made it the first Broadway show to ever make over a 3 billion dollar profit in only eight shows.
With the great success of the musical, Miranda wanted Hamilton to become a movie as well. The week before members of the original cast departed the show, they filmed a live production of it. He told Variety that everyone who says, “well, I saw Hamilton with the original cast” would no longer have those bragging rights, because soon enough everyone will have seen them too. Disney bought Hamilton for 77 million dollars, and in return, the movie drove the percentage of downloads of Disney app for streaming up by 74% on the fourth of July weekend.
The movie was well received and well received. Much of this is attributed to director Thomas Kail’s camera work made all the difference. Being able to see spit fly from Grammy-winning, Jonothan Drew Groff’s mouth makes the viewers feel like they are seeing the show in real life. It’s possible the close angles are even better than what one could see from even a front-row seat at Richard Rodgers Theatre. The cast is undeniably talented with many of them winning Tonys and Grammys. According to Jennifer Van Evra of CBC, the musical won 11 of the 16 Grammy’s they were put up for including the best soundtrack.
With the musical becoming a movie, fans were able to pause, rewind, and rewatch at their convenience, allowing them to look for deeper meanings in the historical musical. Some of the findings include Hamilton isn’t called Alexander Hamilton for a reason, the play isn’t just about Alexander but his wife Eliza too. She is the one attributed to carrying on his legacy in the musical. Another example is one extra plays the role of the bullet; she’s the one who delivers the bullets and is the extra hung by King George. These details are easy to miss when seeing it live. Turning the play into the movie did turn Hamilton fans’ “world’s upside”.
Truly the most remarkable part of the production was just seeing how talented the actors were. One moment that exemplifies this is when Phillip dies the despair on Eliza (Phillipa Soo’s) face is unforgettable.
Hamilton is a must-see see movie.