MOVIE GUY — It’s the 10 Hamilton comments
I am a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, one of the most successful and influential Broadway shows of all time. I’ve seen the production four times now. I was even in New York City to see the show this past March when the coronavirus caused Broadway to shut down, leaving me holding some very expensive tickets to a show that is now on indefinite hiatus.
Still, if there’s a silver lining to this crisis, perhaps it’s that Disney+ decided to release the film version of Hamilton on their streaming service this week, rather than waiting for the theatrical release that had been planned for next summer.
I was very excited/nervous to see if Hamilton on film could capture the magic of the musical.
And so, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Here are my 10 Hamilton comments. Feel free to sing along at home.
No. 1. The show still has great energy. It’s not as palpable as it is when seen live on stage, but so much of the show’s raw power transfers to film that it will absolutely knock your socks off.
No 2. The film cameras provide tight shots that you can’t see from a live audience position, frequently enhancing the performances to great effect.
No. 3. Phillipa Soo and Jonathan Groff benefit the most from this as the film amplifies their quiet moments to great effect.
No. 4. Watching Daveed Diggs and Renee Elise Goldberry stealing the show still puts a huge grin on my face.
No. 5. Leslie Odom Jr. is the only one who’s performance seems diminished here. He’s still brilliant, but at times it felt like he was holding back so as not to blow out the microphones.
No. 6. I was able to see things this time around that I missed because I was watching the singer during the live show and not the background dancers. Perhaps the thing I loved most from this viewing is that it allowed me to go back and enjoy Andy Blankenbuehler’s Tony Award winning choreography.
No. 7. Ditto for lighting, costume and set design. Bravo!
No. 8. They cut the two F-bombs from the production in order to meet Disney standards. It is noticeable, but it should only bug the most ardent fans.
No. 9. “Immigrants, they get the job done” still causes me to laugh out loud and cheer every time.
Tenth comment, fire. I find it curious that they cut Lin-Manuel Miranda’s entrance applause. For the true Broadway experience, press pause when he first appears and cheer wildly at home for two or three minutes before returning to the show. Despite this omission, the genius of “Hamilton” is still on brilliant display here, proving itself to be a masterpiece for both for its technical bravado as well as the show’s way of connecting people of color with our nations founding myths.
Perhaps now, more than ever, this is the perfect film to screen over Independence Day weekend.
Hamilton is streaming exclusively on Disney+.
Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week in The Port Arthur News and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directed by Thomas Kail
Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom, Jr., Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldberry, Anthony Ramos, Okieriete Onaodowan, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Jonathan Groff.
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