Dear Evan Hansen Film Review

The Dear Evan Hansen movie is out now in theaters

The Dear Evan Hansen movie is out now in theaters

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

“Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a great day and here’s why….” that’s what the movie started out with. When I found out that they were releasing Dear Evan Hansen as a film, I was super excited to see it just because I’ve seen the actual musical before and I loved it so much that I knew I was going to feel those same feelings about the film version that I did with the musical. So the day it came out in theaters, I left the tennis match that I was covering, got in my car, and rushed all the way to the movie theater to meet my mom and sister.

If you aren’t familiar at all with what Dear Evan Hansen is about, I will tell you. Based on the well known musical,  it is about a teenage boy named Evan, who struggles with anxiety and depression and has a hard time socializing and making friends. He soon goes along on a journey of self discovery when his letter he was writing to himself for a therapy assignment got in the hands of a fellow student named Connor Murphy who like Evan, was also struggling with problems of his own, like depression and substance abuse. He ended up taking his life the very next day. Connor’s parents discover the letter in his pocket, and Evan ends up in this crazy adventure of what actually happened.

When I was watching the movie, I thought I would get that same feeling I got when I watched the musical for the first time: hope and love, but I was wrong. Even though it was a pretty good movie, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again for a second time, there were just some things I was disappointed in. One of the things I was disappointed in was how they casted Evan. What they did was they basically casted Ben Platt, the original Evan Hansen in the musical from years ago to play the role of Evan Hansen, but the film version. I felt like Ben Platt was a little too old to be playing a teenage boy and that there should be an actual teenager casted to play the lead, but when I was watching the movie I noticed that Ben Platt made it look like that he was a struggling boy with anxiety and depression, so because of that I’m not truly disappointed, he did a good job playing Evan Hansen, but it would’ve been nice to have someone younger play the lead so the audience could relate to him more.

Another thing I was kind of disappointed about was the fact that they left out some songs like: “Does Anybody Have A Map?, “Good for You,” and “Disappear” and replaced them with an original song by  Amandla Stenberg who plays Alana called  “The Anonymous Ones” where she talks about how she suffers with anxiety similar to Evan’s. Even though it was cool to have a song that wasn’t in the musical, I kinda wished they added “Disappear” just because it was a song sung by Connor Murphy talking about how the memory of him is starting to fade, and reminds Evan to do something so he won’t end up like Connor, invisible and alone. That song was also an interaction between Connor and Even, and in the film we didn’t see a lot of interaction between them, unlike the actual musical in which we saw a ton of interaction between Evan and Connor, and Connor telling his story.

Even though there were some bad parts about the movie that I didn’t enjoy, there were still some positives. One of the positives would have to be how they portrayed Jared Klein, a family friend of Evan’s. He was one of my favorite characters from the musical, and I was so happy that they didn’t disappoint me with him. I was mostly dying throught the movie because of him and his commentary like when Evan was talking about how he’s his only friend, and Jared was like “we aren’t friends, we are just family friends, there’s a difference” that part made me laugh. I also liked how he popped and randomly started joining in during the song “Sincerely Me,” and Evan and Connor shoved him away which was funny. Even though I wasn’t happy with the change in songs, I still enjoyed the songs and music especially the way they laid out the music. I thought Kaitlyn Dever who played Zoe Murphy did such a good job with the song “Requiem” and I loved the way they set up “Waving through a Window.” One of the things I thought so well in was “You will be found.” I love the set and how there were so many people singing the song and speaking up about how we shouldn’t be alone through many social media sites like Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and so much more. I’ve always loved how they do that song and I just love the way they did it in the film.

Overall my thoughts on this movie is that it wasn’t the best. Personally I think the musical was so much better than the film, but that’s just my opinion. However, I do recommend people watching the movie or seeing the musical if they haven’t seen or heard about Dear Evan Hansen. However, if you do watch one, you may have an opinion on the other based on the one you watched