Hamilton Review: Lin Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece demands to be watched and fall under the spell of

Hamilton Review: Lin-Manuel Miranda's masterful Broadway musical is given a cinematic experience that can now be enjoyed by millions at the confines of their homes. With addictive show tunes that make history lessons a whole lot of fun and an inimitable ensemble, Hamilton is one masterpiece that demands to be watched.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's titular act as Alexander Hamilton is top-notch like the latter's intellect was.Lin-Manuel Miranda's titular act as Alexander Hamilton is top-notch like the latter's intellect was.

Hamilton

Hamilton Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo

Hamilton Director: Thomas Kail

Hamilton Stars: 4/5

"How does a bastard, orphan, son of whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?," is the puzzle piece that the audience tries to decipher when they are welcomed into a character sketch of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's Founding Fathers who eventually becomes The Secretary of the Treasury in Hamilton. While tragedy is what awaits us in the final act, Lin-Manuel Miranda adds a sense of modernism to an age-old tale that adds relevance to the current state of affairs in the United States and maybe, the entire world as well.

While Hamilton is amongst the most beloved Broadway musicals of the current generation and even of all time, many had to rely on the now-iconic tunes to get a little slice at the masterpiece, owing to geographical or economical barriers. USD 500 dollars is way to steep for even Broadway aficionados but now, thanks to Disney's acquisition, we have the comforts of being at home and witnessing the marvel that was and is Hamilton. The 2015 musical came blazing through after years of meticulous hardwork by one man; Lin-Manuel Miranda, and is now looked upon as nothing short of a triumph for theatre that has always been othered.

Bringing Hamilton to screen, what was supposed to be a cinematic debut has come early during the real-life troubling times and is instead gifted to the OTT platform for the world to consume and be mesmerised by. Shot in 2016 at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City, with the original beloved cast, director Thomas Kail spells magic as he brings the live theatre experience to binge-watchers. Yes, the actual theatrics can't be completely replicated but Thomas masterfully crafts the essence, nonetheless.

The brilliant symphony between Declan Quinn's performative cinematography and Jonah Moran's structural editing breathes life into the two hours and 40 minutes duration. Moreover, it's the brilliance of the production design (You're never made aware of the fact that it's the same set) as well as the lighting effectively (Adding to the narrative with colours dedicated to each character, mood and emotional gravity) that further encapsulates the storytelling.

Hamilton's strongest suit, however, lies in its "top-notch" cast where each key player has a lot to say, or sing. At the forefront, we have the Founding Father of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda (music, lyrics and book), who knows the source material as it's his very own baby. We see the gradual 'Macbethean' transformation of Hamilton through the gut-wrenching act by Miranda and it's his eyes, in particular, that tells us everything we need to know. "I am not throwing away my shot," is Hamilton's biggest virtue and vice and what leads to his eventual demise but the man he was, deserved to have a story written in the history books as well.

An equal counterpart is Leslie Odom Jr., who as Aaron Burr, Hamilton's friend turned enemy draws the line between being the villain and the victim. He is neither black nor white and instead, there's a humane emotion attached to him that has us second-guessing his motives at every given turn. It's especially the duet between Hamilton and Burr, Dear Theodosia, dedicated to their children, where you see them as two sides of the same coin with the same end goal, a better tomorrow for their legacy. Burr's transformation from waiting in the sidelines to being in the room is witnessed through Leslie's terrific performance.

Enough can't be said about the Schuyler Sisters, with Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler making the mark at the get-go with her powerful opening number to introduce the siblings. On the other hand, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton shines in the second act as the woman scorned but never losing her kindness. Through these two women characters, we get to see a modern perspective into how they too had a role to play, even if it was behind closed doors at a time when it mattered more as to whose daughter or wife they were.

Adding the element of humour is the inimitable Daveed Diggs as both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson as well as the charismatic Jonathan Groff as King George III. Diggs' infectious energy is hard to not love and get up off your feet while Jonathan's 'mean girls' vibe is too over the top and delicious to ignore. Even Christopher Jackson as George Washington adds that stomp of power and pride while Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton balance out the delectable cast.

If the cast is the King, then, the music is the Queen of Hamilton. Right from the informative yet sassy introduction to Hamilton to the heartbreaking reconciliation between Hamilton and Eliza with the tear-inducing, It's Quiet Uptown, the infusion of hip-hop and rap adds the freshness to a history lesson that will pique anyone's interest. Imagine a cabinet meeting turned into a rap battle where proposals are either motioned or denied or a mother and son as a beatboxing combo. Hamilton may seem absurd when imagined but when witnessed, all the puzzle pieces add up to become a true masterpiece set in motion.

The reason why Hamilton is so relevant and even relatable is because of its hard-hitting lessons on ongoing social issues like immigration, foreign policies, the fight for freedom while also tapping to human emotions. The fight between ego and compassion, infidelity and love, being a parent and your duty to your country. With the Black Lives Matter movement in its all-time high, Hamilton, with it's the experimental decision to have POC actors play the historically 'white' figures, comes knocking on doors at just the right moment.

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story, Mr. Hamilton? Well, it's Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is just as young, scrappy and hungry as you once were.

Stay updated with the latest entertainment,fashion and lifestyle news. Get our Newsletter

Pinkvilla has updated its Privacy and Cookie policy. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and show you Personalized advertisement.

Options

Pinkvilla has updated its Privacy and Cookie policy. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and show you Personalized advertisement