Friday, May 20, 2022

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Review: A Powerful and Moving Film

Dear Evan Hansen, which is a film adaptation of the Broadway musical by the same name, arrives in theaters on September 24.

While admittedly I have not seen the stage production (I’ve wanted to, just unable to make it), I’ve been anticipating the film. As someone who has heard the songs on the soundtrack over and over, I wanted to see where and how they were placed, and what the story unfolded as.

As someone who doesn’t have the stage production to compare it to, I can fully say I found the film to be beautiful. The story resonated so well, with someone who was often an outcast in high school.

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There are many heavy topics here, and mental health and suicide take the forefront. What I appreciated the most was showing all aspects of mental health and the effect it has on everyone.

The cast was superb. Ben Platt took the lead role as Evan Hansen, and he originated the character on Broadway. While some people take up an issue with Platt’s age, I don’t think it’s an issue at all. He doesn’t look out of place, and frankly, a lot of shows and films with characters and high school are almost always older characters, so it wasn’t anything I personally had an issue with. He was brilliant as the lead character, and his voice is unique, heartfelt, and just plain beautiful. Kaitlyn Denver was magnetic as Zoe, and she was just as phenomenal at showcasing her emotions. Amy Adams was a knockout, and you could really feel her heart breaking in so many of the scenes. Danny Pino was great as Larry Murphy, and there’s one particular scene where it really hits home for him that had me in tears. Colton Ryan played a terrific Connor, and Amandla Stenberg was incredible as usual.

The one part of the film that really stood out to me was the part where Platt’s Hansen has to get up on stage and sings “You Will Be Found.” The song itself delivers a great message, and the montage of scenes woven into it was so powerful that it had me crying.

There will always be comparisons to the stage production, but to me, the film was brilliant and beautifully filmed. The music and message of the film was powerful and moving, and it’s one that will surely go into my collection of favorites.

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Dear Evan Hansen is available in theaters on September 24. It’s also returning to Broadway this December starring Jordan Fisher, and you can get tickets here.

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