Ever since I watched Hamilton for the first last Friday I have not been able to get the film out of my very being. I’ve seen it three times since and I just can’t get enough of this story. The detail is insane, the talent is utterly incredible and really rewarding to see when entertainment can be so artificial these days, but with my latest viewing on Thursday night I couldn’t help noticing how spot on this story is.
The play heavily features the stories of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, friends turned political foes over the course of twenty-four years, who are played brilliantly by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.
With basic storytelling, Hamilton could’ve easily been the clear protagonist while Burr should’ve been the easy villain. Instead, Miranda provides a story that sees Burr as a victim to Hamilton’s relentless pursuit of greatness and after a while, we can’t help but understand why Burr is so angry.
It’s the perfect example of writing a more realistic story that features characters who have good and bad in them, for every person has a light and a dark side, so to speak.
And not only do we get to see a muddled distinction between the good guy and bad guy with Hamilton and Burr we also get to see women treated with the dignity and respect a lot of stories still have trouble telling. Think of Angelica Schuyler and her sister, Eliza. Both are powerful, beautiful women whose stories could’ve been incredibly shallow but Miranda wrote a story that featured women with vulnerabilities and that undeniable strength that makes us adore our mothers who help raise us.
As a writer, it’s stories like Hamilton that inspire me the most and show me the best way to tell a story. There are some stories where there can be a distinct villain but even then you have to create an antagonist whose motive seems somewhat logical and slightly veers from the cliché route.
Hamilton is a defiance to the natural order; a story about the Founding Fathers told through the lens of a man of Puerto Rican descent starring a sprawling cast of people of color. It’s a beautiful sight and thanks to Disney+ I can soak up the greatness of this play on a regular basis.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.