Independence of the colonies and what it should mean to the people is a touchy subject these days. But as the forth of July 4th once again rolls around, Disney+ offers a unique opportunity to revisit the founding of the country with its cinematic version of Hamilton, as it originally appeared on Broadway.
History doesn’t often come to life in a way that captures the attention of the entire nation. But Lin-Manuel Miranda found a way to bring the facts into lively and contemporary-feeling stage play. Now, that experience will inform and thrill people at home.
Director Thomas Kail captures the energy and kinetic movement into a front row experience. Hamilton the film is set to re-engage the nation’s attention. The lighting is perfect, the sound production top shelf and the environment intimate enough to transport you.
As a Black person living in the United States, learning about the founding of the country is a complicated proposition. Often the lessons carefully navigate around the less savory elements that went into breaking free from colonial rule and establishing an independent nation. So as a young kid it was extremely difficult to stay interested in the lessons let alone invested in the details.
But Miranda’s decision to cast these historical characters with talented performers more reflective of the diverse ethnic background present in modern society and putting the facts breathed life into dry facts with rhyme and soul grants this glimpse at history a different flavor. It opens a gateway to the larger lessons and significance of pivotal moments often clouded by exclusionary and tone-deaf lesson plans.
Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016,, the film utilizing the unique elements of a stage play to bring this musical to vivid life.
It’s Tony Award-winning cast provide brilliant narration and a natural flow that allows for a guided perspective to process the triumphs and mistakes of one of the country’s forebearers.
Miranda’s book and music highlight the good and dramatizing the intriguing all without washing away the bad or drowning out the distasteful.
And just like a night at the theater, there’s a timely intermission so you can step away and come back to the second half refreshed.
Hamilton puts the lessons to be found in history into focus with a relatableness that just hits different. Seeing the soundtrack you’ve likely come to life is definitely not to be missed. There’s honesty, raw emotion, irony on display. Listening to the original cast sing is to capture lightening in a bottle.
We’d all be so lucky to have someone like Lin-Manuel Miranda choose to tell our story. Hamilton premieres on July 3, 2020 around the world, streaming only on Disney+