By: Ava Silvestri, Editorial Staff (‘25)
Fans of the musical Dear Evan Hansen (may) have something new to be excited about: Dear Evan Hansen, the movie! The new film was released on September 24th, 2021. After enjoying the musical, fans were excited to watch the new release. However, there have been mixed reviews about the movie.
Dear Evan Hansen is about a teenage boy, Evan Hansen, who faces anxiety and the constant feeling of loneliness. To help, he writes notes to himself as suggested by his therapist. Connor Murphy, a classmate of Evan’s, gets his hands on one of Evan’s notes, and unexpectedly, Connor commits suicide, leaving Connor’s parents to think that he and Evan were friends (judging from the note found in Connor’s possession). With the ups and downs that come from lying about Evan and Connor’s friendship, some unanticipated events occur that help spread awareness, hope, and draw attention to the feeling of loneliness in teens.
Speaking from my personal experience of seeing Dear Evan Hansen (the musical), I loved it. Watching the actors perform in the moment was breathtaking, and their facial expressions certainly helped portray the characters. Although the actors seemed to have nerves from performing live, it was still perfect. The songs made me feel happy, and the storyline was interesting, specifically seeing what it’s like in the shoes of someone who is dealing with loneliness. So far, DEH is my favorite musical.
Despite what others may think, I liked the movie, although it was not as good as the musical. Similar to the Broadway musical, the songs and the acting were great. Notably, not every song from the musical was in the movie, and there were also some new pieces. Something about the film made it feel more genuine.
Many viewers were disappointed with some of the aspects of the movie, saying that the songs did not match well and that the actor who plays Evan Hansen, Ben Platt, looks too old for the teenage boy he was playing. He originated the role on Broadway during its opening in 2016. Some argue that his father, a producer on the film, was the reason why he was the only returning Broadway cast member for the film. This has sparked some controversy with the film.
Other viewers enjoyed the movie and connected with the feeling of isolation from the world, especially with the Coronavirus pandemic. Viewers talked about the actors’ outstanding performance and were surprised by the backlash and dislikes of the movie. Even with these arguments, most people enjoy the musical, Dear Evan Hansen more than the movie, saying that it “speaks to the heart” it’s up to those who have not seen the musical to decide for themselves.
Overall, I agree with both sides of the argument, yet I feel both the musical and the movie showcase great emotions and acting. The overall concept of Dear Evan Hansen has a special message: whatever you may be going through, “You Will Be Found.”