Movie Review of “Dear Evan Hansen”

Samantha Maddux

The content of the film ¨Dear Evan Hansen¨ could have possible triggers, which should be put into consideration before viewing.

There are many different opinions on the “Dear Evan Hansen” movie. People seem to either love the film adaptation of the novel or hate it. Personally, I thought it was pretty good. 

“Dear Evan Hansen” is about a boy, Evan Hansen, played by Ben Platt, who was assigned by his therapist to write a note telling himself that today is going to be a good day. Instead, he writes about how it will be a bad day and even a bad year. He prints the note and it is taken by another boy, Connor Murphy.  Later the note is mistaken as having a different purpose, which leads Evan Hansen to fall into a hole of lies.

There has been a lot of criticism over the fact that Ben Platt, the original Evan Hansen on Broadway, reprised his role in the film. Platt was 27 at the time of filming and the character Evan Hansen is 17. I personally am torn over whether I liked this or not. I think that Platt in the role made the film feel more like you were actually watching the original Broadway show. I do see why people did not like it because Platt did not look 17. So I think people going into the film without knowledge of the original Broadway musical will think it is off. 

Another controversial thing in the film was the fact that they cut songs. I think this was fine because they did not cut any of the more recognizable songs. They also added their own songs which although I did not initially like, I think helped add to the idea that anybody, even the people you least expect, could be dealing with mental health issues, and I think that was a good thing to emphasize that the original musical, in my opinion, skimmed over.

I know that seeing the movie is not the same as seeing the play, which is something I have always wanted to do, but I think it is very cool to be able to see “Dear Evan Hansen” in any form that is not a terrible YouTube bootleg video. This helps widen the audience that can appreciate this musical. I think that the movie is different from the musical and that will upset people that are very attached to the feeling of the Broadway musical, but it was never promised to be the same. It tried to be its own thing, and I can respect that. All in all, the film did a good job of emphasizing the overall theme that no matter how bad or lost you feel, there will come a time when “You will be found.”