Dear Evan Hansen is more Disappointing than it is Heartwarming

Julia Key, Reporter

 

     Over the last few years, filmmakers and streaming services have jumped on just about every Broadway musical they could get their hands on to adapt into film. From Disney putting a live performance of Hamilton onto their streaming site to CATS getting a full film adaptation, musical theater fans are getting their fair share of on screen musical action. 

     “Dear Evan Hansen” is one of the more recent musical to film adaptations, and it’s reimagination has created an uproar from critics and musical theater fans alike. 

     In the film, Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) is a socially anxious teen, tasked by his therapist to write letters to himself. When one of his letters gets into the wrong hands, Evan is left dealing with a family grieving the death of their son and brother.

     This movie was two hours and seventeen minutes of pure cringe, the outstanding issue being  Platt’s portrayal of Evan. Platt played Evan in the musical as well as the movie, but there is a big difference between film and live performances, especially in this case.

     People have been commenting on Platt’s appearance in the movie since the first trailer came out in May of 2021. Platt was 27 at the time of filming, portraying a 17-year-old, and it is extremely noticeable in the film. From the looks of it, the makeup crew did everything they could to take a few years off of Platt’s appearance, but the prosthetics and cakey makeup did not do any justice. 

     The creepy, almost inhuman makeup made the already unsavory character of Evan Hansen even more unlikeable, and super hard to take seriously. 

     The looks weren’t the only problem, though; anyone familiar with the musical would know that Platt’s character Evan isn’t the most likable guy. During the course of the movie Evan lies about being friends with Connor Murphy (Colton Ryan), a fellow classmate who had recently taken his own life. Not only does he lie about it, but he exploits the grieving family of his former classmate to get closer to his puppy love crush on Conner’s sister, Zoe (Kaitlyn Denver), as well as receiving money from the family for college. 

     The movie (especially towards the end) wants us to feel sorry for Evan, they play off his web of elaborate lies as a quirky mistake made by a socially anxious teen. But Evan has no redeeming qualities. Despite his never-ending apologies throughout the course of the movie, he says sorry only once at the end, and not even to the family or any of his friends, just a quick ‘I’m sorry’ for his Instagram. 

     The ending was very dragged out, and in the last 15 minutes, we got a few sad “heartwarming” scenes that resolved no conflicts from the previous 2 hours. The end of the movie shows the lack of character growth and remorse from the movie’s beloved main character Evan.

     I think it’s fair to say that Dear Evan Hansen probably should have stayed on Broadway and out of movie theaters.