Let me start by saying I was expecting not to like Hamilton. Like composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer, and playwright, Lin-Manuel Miranda, I was a big fan of the book Hamilton by Ron Chernow – on which the play was based. I just wasn’t sure I would like the play/film.
I was set to dislike it not because I am a racist and think that a story about white people should be played by white people – in fact, I loved this ‘modernization’ of the story. I wasn’t even set to poo-poo it because I dislike the founding fathers singing hip-hop – I loved that as well. I was simply assuming I would dislike it because so darn many people raved about it. I just don’t trust the crowd. Way too many times I have heard a film is great or a restaurant is amazing only to discover that either a) they bought into marketing hype and were suckers or b) my tastes are entirely uncommon. Regardless, I agree with the public on this one, Hamilton rocks!
The acting was top-notch and although Miranda’s was far from the strongest performance, the fact that he wrote the lyrics, music etc, and still did the huge task of acting the main character makes me tip my hat to him for his work ethic. He clearly did “not throw away his shot.”
Renee Goldsberry and Chris Jackson stood out as my favorite performances but there were so many good ones. I think Daveed Diggs would have made that list too but I was a bit biased of the negative portrayal of Thomas Jefferson. Oh, and I do have to say the costumes/set were amazing.
What is the takeaway? This is a very good musical (I love musicals) and although it takes some liberties with the facts, there is enough truth mixed in with the music and passion to add this to the curriculum of any American History class. The most fascinating thing that came from the play had to be the fact that Eliza Hamilton not only outlived her more-famous husband by 50+ years but spent that time leading a life of positive activity. It prompted me to do a lot of research and discover just what an amazing women she was.
I do have to say that this has been the only good thing I have seen on Disney+. I guess it’s a start.
by Chris Doelle
Rating 9 of 10