HAMILTON*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
* The film is a recorded version of the original Broadway production.
The story begins with various characters introducing the protagonist (“Alexander Hamilton”). Born on the island of Nevis, Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) was abandoned by his father as his mother lay sick and dying. He moved in with a cousin who later committed suicide. Hamilton would grow to fend for himself and work hard until he could make a name for himself and go down in history as the world knows him now.
Hamilton arrives in New York City in 1776 where he meets Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.). They go out for a drink and meet John Laurens (Anthony Ramos), Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), and Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan). Hamilton speaks out against the British and King George III (Jonathan Groff), aspiring to step into the revolution against all odds (“My Shot”). He wows everyone besides Burr, who wishes to tread carefully when discussing the British. Lafayette does not wish to see France ruled under a monarch, Laurens wants equal rights for all men, and Mulligan wishes to climb socially by joining the revolution. They, plus Hamilton, continue drinking and speak more about their plans to fight (“The Story of Tonight”), knowing they may very well die doing so.
Elsewhere, the wealthy Schulyer sisters – Angelica (Renee Elise Goldberry), Eliza (Philipa Soo), and Peggy (Jasmine Cephas Jones) – go about town (“The Schulyer Sisters”) in search for suitors. Burr attempts to flirt with Angelica, but she rejects him.
A loyalist named Samuel Seabury (Thayne Jasperson) speaks out against the revolution, and Hamilton steps in to confront him while his comrades mock Seabury. King George also takes a moment to taunt the Americans (“You’ll Be Back”), insinuating that they will eventually run back to seek his leadership once the revolution fails.
The start of the American Revolution takes place with the New York and New Jersey battles. Hamilton wants to rise up and command the Continental Army but needs the approval of General George Washington (Christopher Jackson). Burr tries to get in Washington’s good graces for the position, but ultimately, Washington is more impressed with Hamilton’s tactics and strategy. He gives Hamilton the position of his assistant (“Right Hand Man”).
Philip Schuyler (Sydney James Harcourt) throws a ball (“A Winter’s Ball”), where Angelica introduces Hamilton to Eliza, and she falls in love with him (“Helpless”). The two eventually marry, but at the wedding, Angelica suppresses her own feelings for Hamilton (“Satisfied”) for the sake of her sister’s happiness, though she regrets having set the two of them up. Hamilton’s friends hang out with him after the wedding, (“The Story of Tonight (Reprise)”) where Hamilton says he would rather have Burr’s job on the battlefield. Burr himself takes time to think about how Hamilton is quickly rising in his ranks while he has been taking his career more steadily (“Wait For It”).
The Continental Army starts suffering losses, which takes a toll on Washington’s nerves (“Stay Alive”). He has dismissed Charles Lee (Jon Rua) from his position as Major General, and Lee engages in a duel with Laurens (“Ten Duel Commandments”) after making comments against Washington. Laurens shoots Lee, who then yields. Washington calls Hamilton into his office (“Meet Me Inside”) to chastise him for allowing the duel to happen, and he sends Hamilton home. At home, Eliza informs Hamilton that she is pregnant, and asks that he would consider their family as he engages in warfare (“That Would Be Enough”)
Lafayette convinces French commander-in-chief Rochambeau to join the colonists and deliver reinforcements (“Guns and Ships”), but he knows Hamilton is also essential in their upcoming battle at Yorktown, and he urges Washington to bring him on to help with their strategy. Washington talks to Hamilton after promoting him and tells him about his failure at the Battle of Fort Necessity where his men were killed, warning Hamilton that history will judge them for their actions (“History Has Its Eyes on You”).
In preparation for the Siege of Yorktown, Hamilton and Lafayette meet to discuss their plans (“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”), revealing that Mulligan was acting as a spy on the British. Hamilton is ready for the fight but also considers Eliza and their child. The Americans and French go into battle, and they emerge victorious. King George then steps out to comment on the victory and ask what the Americans’ and French’s next move will be (“What Comes Next?”)
Lafayette returns to France with the intent of rising up his own people for their own revolution. Not long after, Eliza gives birth to a son, Philip, while Burr’s wife has a daughter, Theodosia. Hamilton and Burr talk to their children separately (“Dear Theodosia”) about the future they plan to give them.
Hamilton learns that Laurens was killed in a gunfight against British troops in South Carolina, as they were not aware that the war had ended, making Laurens’ death pointless (“Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us”). Hamilton is clearly devastated but chooses to bury himself in his work (“Non-Stop”). He returns to New York to continue his studies and is selected to attend the Constitutional Convention, starts to co-write The Federalist Papers to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and is appointed the position of Secretary of Treasury. Despite his successes, Eliza begs her husband to stay with her.
It is now years later. Following his stint as U.S. ambassador in France, Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) returns to America and tries to catch himself up (“What’d I Miss”). Jefferson debates with Hamilton (“Cabinet Battle #1”) over the latter’s proposal to have the federal government acquire state debts after the war. Jefferson is against it for fear of a more centralized government. Washington tries to give Hamilton advice on a compromise to present to Congress.
Philip (Anthony Ramos) is now nine and studying French. Eliza and her family are preparing a trip upstate, but Hamilton decides to stay behind and work on his plans to create the national bank (“Take A Break”). In Eliza’s absence, Hamilton begins an affair with Maria Reynolds (Jasmine Cephas Jones) after she told him her husband was abusing her (“Say No To This”). James Reynolds (Sydney James Harcourt) blackmails Hamilton on keeping silent about the affair in exchange for payment, as the affair continues for a year.
Hamilton and Burr meet again, discussing the death of General Mercer and pondering how they will be remembered after their deaths. Hamilton is invited into a secret cabinet meeting, leading Burr to once again feel envious (“The Room Where It Happens”). Hamilton discusses with Jefferson and James Madison (Okieriete Onaodowan) plans for developing what will become the nation’s capital. Burr decides to switch political parties and beats Philip Schuyler for the senator position. He and Hamilton are now full-blown rivals.
Hamilton and Jefferson butt heads during another debate (“Cabinet Battle #2”), wherein they discuss whether or not U.S. troops should aid France in their fight against Britain. Jefferson and Madison are in favor of it, but Hamilton argues that the ever-developing United States should not be involved in international affairs. Washington ultimately sides with Hamilton in the decision to keep the U.S. neutral. Jefferson and Madison meet with Burr and discuss how much Hamilton benefits from Washington (“Washington On Your Side”) before deciding to join forces to take Hamilton down.
Washington soon steps down from his presidency (“One Last Time”), helping Hamilton to write his Farewell Address. King George learns of Washington’s retirement and is surprised to learn that his replacement will be John Adams (“I Know Him”). After Adams is elected president, he fires Hamilton, who, in retaliation, publishes a scathing critique (“The Adams Administration”).
Jefferson, Burr, and Madison accuse Hamilton of embezzling government funds (“We Know”), which leads to him confessing to them about his affair with Maria. Fearing it will be used against him, he decides to expose his affair anyway (“Hurricane”) in an effort to clear his name on the embezzlement accusation, despite knowing it will ruin both his political career and his marriage (“The Reynolds Pamphlet”). After Eliza finds out, Angelica goes to comfort her. Eliza then burns all of Hamilton’s letters (“Burn”).
Hamilton persuades Philip to enter a duel with George Eacker (Ephraim Sykes)(“Blow Us All Away”), but Philip is shot and is critically injured. Hamilton and Eliza rush to his side (“Stay Alive (Reprise)”), but he soon dies. The two grieve together (“It’s Quiet Uptown”) and soon reconcile despite all the turmoil.
Hamilton endorses Jefferson for president (“The Election of 1800”), causing Burr anger at the fact that Hamilton is now supporting his former enemy. Burr exchanges correspondence with Hamilton (“Your Obedient Servant”) to challenge him to a duel, which Hamilton accepts. As he writes his last letter, Eliza tells him to go back to bed (“Best of Wives and Best of Women”).
Hamilton and Burr travel to New Jersey for their duel. They walk their ten paces, but just before the shots are fired, Hamilton takes a moment to reflect on how his legacy may be that he killed his former friend. He thinks about what he has done for his country and what it did for him when he had nothing. He thinks about Philip and his mother waiting for him on the other side. In the end, Hamilton does indeed throw away his shot, allowing Burr to fatally shoot him. Although the winner, Burr also reflects on how history will paint him as a villain for killing his rival (“The World Was Wide Enough”). Hamilton dies with Eliza and Angelica at his side.
Jefferson and Madison are among those who remember Hamilton’s work and contributions. Eliza closes by musing who will tell our stories when we are gone (“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”), knowing that she will keep her husband’s memory alive. She sees one last vision of Hamilton as the show closes.
The film is a recorded version of the hit Broadway musical.
Alexander Hamilton was an orphan from the Caribbean who worked his way up in New York City to step into the American Revolution with comrades John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan. He also befriends Aaron Burr, but their conflicting ideals, as well as Hamilton's quick rise to success, creates tensions between the two.
Hamilton marries Eliza Schuyler and becomes George Washington's second-in-command as they head into battle against the British. They are successful in their ventures, and Hamilton continues to climb ranks, just as Eliza gives birth to their son Philip. Hamilton also establishes the national bank and co-writes The Federalist Papers.
In his later years, Hamilton engages in an affair with Maria Reynolds. With Burr having joined forces with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to take Hamilton down, he is eventually forced to reveal the affair after being blackmailed by Maria's husband, knowing it will destroy his political career and marriage. After Philip is killed in a duel, Hamilton and Eliza make a slow but steady reconciliation.
After Hamilton endorses Jefferson for president, Burr challenges him to a duel. Hamilton reflects on how him killing his former friend might be his legacy, so he throws away his shot and is fatally shot by Burr, who laments his victory over how he will be viewed for killing Hamilton. Eliza then vows to carry on her husband's legacy.