Theater version of Dear Evan Hansen doesn’t live up to Broadway standards


Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Cylen Brown, Reporter

Six years after its Broadway premiere, Dear Evan Hansen saw its theatrical release on September 24. The musical follows the titular Evan Hansen, an anxiety-ridden high school student, when a letter he wrote to himself ends up in the hands of a grieving married couple whose son took his own life.

The movie had the potential to be great, but falls flat due to poor choices. For example, Ben Platt, who plays Evan Hansen, was in his early 20s during the Broadway run and was able to convincingly play a high schooler. But now, nearing 30, Platt’s portrayal of a 17-year-old is completely far-fetched. There’s not enough makeup out there to make him look like a teenager again.

That is just one example of the many with Dear Evan Hansen. The costuming, set design, and other small details expose the film’s flaws. The bland homes of both Evan and Zoe aren’t at all lived-in, displaying very little character beyond a department store commercial. Clothes meant to make Platt look younger have the opposite effect, and details are sloppy.

Overall, the film has its moments, and it’s propped up by the excellent music and Platt’s fully embodied performance. But in the end,Fans of the Broadway musical should not get their hopes up. The movie was set up for greatness, but fell short.