September 2020 Volume 7, Issue 1
The hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton”, was released exclusively on Disney+ on July 3rd of this year, and although it is not the same as seeing the play in person, it is still a must-watch for theater and music lovers alike. The publication of the musical in this form broadens its audience and opens the stage to those who have never experienced the theatre before. The combination of rap, hip-hop, R&B, and neosoul provides a wonderful medium to tell the story of one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. The movie is almost entirely vocals with back to back compositions of memorable lyrics and melodies.
While watching “Hamilton” on your TV, phone, or laptop is a completely different experience than seeing the musical in person, there are still many benefits with bringing Broadway to homes. Live viewings can cost hundreds of dollars, while a Disney+ membership fee is a little under $7 per month.
The movie runs for a total of 2 hours and 40 minutes with a brief intermission. Watching from home allows the viewer to pause the movie if needed, and with the press of a button you can watch your favorite moments over and over again.
The film features the original Broadway cast who have been off the live production since 2016. The Disney+ version allows the audience to experience the musical in a way they would never be able to on Broadway. That being said, there are a few problems with the movie. In order for the film to adhere to Disney+ guidelines, it had to stay within a pg-13 rating. The film had to censor two F-words to appear on Disney+. The F-words do not necessarily add to the movie and censoring them does not completely take away from the film, but for some, the change is noticeable.
Throughout the film, there are switching angles. There are times when the change in focus centers on a character and takes away from what is occurring on the rest of the stage. Since this is a digital publication, it is to be expected that it will differ from seeing “Hamilton” live on Broadway. However, being able to see a stage in its entirety with multiple routines occurring, is one of the things that makes the theatre special. It would have been nice to feel the same about the Disney+ version.
Overall, “Hamilton” is an amazing composition that takes the viewer on a trip through history from a modern perspective. Do not throw away your “shot” to view this incredible musical.