Some people, like these YouTubers, wanted to see Hamilton live, but they couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see it on Disney+.
The response from many has given a lot of hype and optimism about Hamilton and as mentioned, YouTuber Dan Murrell hasn’t seen the musical. He came in avoiding the hype as best he can, even avoiding the soundtrack. Fair to say he didn’t want to blow his shot in giving a legitimate review.
I try not to let the hype get to me as I watch this because you don’t want to go with your expectations set too high which is kind of impossible when you have only heard in the last five years how amazing this musical is.
Kate Mulligan of YouTube group Schmoedown Entertainment Network or SEN for short, had seen the play in Los Angeles with a newer cast and compared it to the one seen on Disney+. Mulligan had seen a different actor play King George III and wondered why everyone found him to be so funny, that is until she saw Jonathan Groff's original take of the king on Disney+.
Probably every King George after (Jonathan Groff) tried to make it their own ... I'll tell you what ... just do what he did.
What is different about these reviews is that this is an adaption of theater to movie. This isn’t the traditional review and Perri Nemiroff gives her fans that warning. Many may feel these reviews would be better if it were about the YouTubers comparing it to the live performance. The magic of having seen it live in a theatre is special, but Nemiroff knows for some that this is better than nothing and for others, they may never get the opportunity to see it live.
Nemiroff admits she was not a history nerd and one might assume this is a history lesson that might make you doze off or make you go to your phone, but she credits the high energy of the film which keeps the eye on the prize the entire time.
What a unique, powerful and very high energy way of telling a story. I just can’t help, but to think as a young student I didn’t really love learning about history through super dry textbooks.
One thing Grace Randolph, from Beyond the Trailer, did make the notion that you have to pay attention as some of the actors and actresses play multiple characters. Luckily, you have your phone to check who is playing who.
While Randolph loved the movie, she also did bring up a unique, but interesting point. She would have preferred this musical at a different location other than a stage and wishes Disney would have prepared better for it.
I think it would have been far better them to just wait and film a proper movie version of Hamilton complete with sets and locations.
While the Movie Couple, Wendy and Dustin, would have been in favor of it, the fear is that maybe this is going to be a two hour non-stop musical as stated by one of the members of SEN, John Rocha, but he appreciates the balance of the musical and the seriousness of Hamilton and Randolph is on the same page of the mixture to it.
The musical keeps a serious focus when it is needed or a playful focus when it is needed as Dan Murrell explained. It doesn’t joke around with historical parts. Murrell would also add that Hamilton gives us a modern look into America’s Founding Fathers since we tend to look at them as historical oil paintings. Murrell would explain that people like Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson have always been looked at as serious people and this play makes them relatable to the viewers.
While we have never heard a bad thing about actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, Murrell isn’t afraid to throw some shade at him and he does so about Miranda in that he didn’t stay at the performance level of the other characters, but Murrell does praise the other actors for playing such great roles.
Murrell isn’t alone on this. Rocha and Randolph also give some criticism to Miranda's performance, but they both also give credit to the other actors, especially for Leslie Odom, who plays Hamilton's nemesis Aaron Burr, and Daveed Digg, who plays both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.
SEN’s Ben Goddard also gives some criticism of Miranda's performance, but makes a point that to the naked eye, you expected Miranda to give this award winning performance. Expectation came in too high for Miranda.
The majority of Americans are seeing it now for the first time and everyone is like ‘Oh Lin-Manuel is terrible at this, he’s so bad.’ He’s not bad, he’s just next to all these..broadway stars.
While some YouTubers gave Miranda a harsh, but real criticism, the Movie Couple credited Miranda for the writing and music. The storyline was filled with emotion and found a way to compact everything in.
When you’re able to masterfully craft and put all these words in the right place, you’re able to get the emotion down perfectly, you’re able to get the storyline..one of the big struggles to take something like a book and put it into a movie, is that the book can just say that the character feels like this where in a movie you have to show that.
Something that was mentioned by a few YouTubers is the information being thrown at you all at once and the suggestion for subtitles. Ben Goddard and Grace Randolph both make mention of this. Goddard compares Hamilton to a Schoolhouse Rock episode with all the good information, but while drinking in the information, it takes a while to get into the characters. Normally when a character dies, you get emotional after investing into the character, but with the distraction, you can’t take it all in.
Overall, there were no mixed reviews from these YouTubers and for the most part, everyone was one the same page. Perhaps it's because they're all already fans or, at the very least, tolerant of musicals whereas others who aren't fans of the genre may just have thrown away their shot of reviewing it altogether. Given that ratio it's easy to understand why Hamilton has become such a phenomenon with those who love the stage.
Dan Murrell, a veteran critic, posts reviews regularly on his channel including box office stats. SEN hosts a live stream daily at 10am PT and also hosts a sports like trivia tournament, the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. The Movie Couple and Perri Nemiroff regularly do reviews and live streams on their channels. Beyond the Trailer with Grace Randolph regularly posts reviews as well as industry news and interviews.