Hamilton recorded a Broadway musical of the same name (three shows put together to be precise) by Lin-Manuel Miranda. We are invited to sit with the audience at the Richard Rogers Theater where we can hear laughter and applause throughout the performance. But not even once we are brought up on stage. The camera always captures events from the front, even in multiple shot setups (including 13-14 musical numbers) taken using a Steadicam, crane and dolly.
As if there was a barrier that director Thomas Kail didn’t want to penetrate. The film allows the stage reality to remain on the stage, separating it from the real reality in the audience seats. Because what you want to give is the viewing experience. When close ups are used, the aim is not to diffuse reality, but merely to “compensate” for the atmosphere that will not be felt when watching on the screen. A conventional approach may lead to stronger musicals, but this is the best result to be had from the above objectives. Top Movie Site
Miranda’s manuscript adapted Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton biography. Quite a bold adjustment, applied. Some of the most notable are the use of modern hip hop music, and the use of non-white players to play the founding fathers of the United States. Miranda made a “very white” story that became rich in diversity. Racist humans and adherents of white supremacy will undoubtedly burn their beards hearing the lyrics “Immigrant, we get the job done!”.
Miranda himself plays Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean Island of Nevis, whom we follow along the 160-minute journey. Starting from his arrival in New York in 1776; involved in the resistance to colonialism King George III (Jonathan Groff) and his friends, including the French aristocrat, Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs) and Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan) the spy of Irish descent; became George Washington (Christopher Jackson’s) right hand man during the United States Revolution; until he assumed the post of Minister of Finance after independence.
If you are not used to watching musical sung-throughs, you may find it difficult to catch a line of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “history lessons”. Moreover, it is not just sung, the majority of the dialogue is rapped. But for those who are familiar, will easily be amazed, both by the show itself, and the translation into film media. I was amazed by the actors, who were still at their prime, moving vigorously to every corner of the stage while throwing rap verses, which required a combination of stamina with extraordinary breathing techniques. Best Movie
I was amazed by the aesthetic. Lighting games, changing sets that blend seamlessly with the dance, to the center stage which can be rotated 360 degrees as a means of playing with blocking, where perfect timing of the movements and singing of the players is a must.
Regarding the film, assisted by the editing of Jonah Moran, Kail was able to strengthen the emphasis of the moment, which was achieved on stage through the play of lights and the motion of the actors. Kail knows when to use wide shot, medium shot, tracking shot, and close-up, to bring the impression as close as possible to watching it live in the theater. Although it must be admitted that Hamilton’s achievements clearly depended on the quality of his performances.
Meanwhile, the choice of music is a high achievement. Hip hop is full of sharp words as a platform for creative creativity, including when heated cabinet meetings are transformed into rap battles, R&B, to pop and ballads, coming together to create a variety of colors and flavor effects. The adrenaline was spurred on, the tears flowed several times. Meanwhile, the most laughter was present every time George III appeared. His figure is like a clown, as a satire of his cruelty, who says he wants to express his love for the people through massacres. I also chuckled to hear his surprise at George Washington’s resignation as President, because he did not know that the country’s leader could resign.
Arrogance, plus power, might make George III forget, or even care less, how history recorded his name. But Hamilton cares. Likewise Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.). Both may have different ideologies. Hamilton always stepped on the gas, while Burr chose to wait patiently. However, when the nation was formed, they both wanted to lay the foundation for their respective children. “Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son”, said Hamilton with teary eyes.
But when legacy matters clash with political filth, it’s not that easy to implement. There were actions of attacking each other, betraying each other, and even tragedy. From there we see if this film (automatically the show is the same) refuses to cult the protagonist. Hamilton is far from being holy, but that doesn’t mean his legacy is useless. The closing moment conveyed that, when his wife, Eliza (Phillipa Soo) sang an emotional number, Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story. Actually, Eliza was not the only time to steal the show. Every appearance always provokes emotion. Movie Review
Eliza is not the main character. The titles of films and shows do not bear his name. However, like other figures, he is a substantial part of the narrative recorded in history and his legacy will always be remembered. And of course, that “gasp”. Little closing gesture that raises lots of questions. Why did Eliza gasp? Did he break the boundaries of the realities of space and time and then see how his legacy was passed down along with the development of the nation he witnessed its birth? Or was it the “breaking the fourth wall” moment where Eliza made eye contact with the audience, realizing that her legacy formation had always been witnessed? Or the form of an “exclamation mark” from Lin-Manuel Miranda, to close his story which is like a series of emphatic statements?