From Broadway to the pages of a book to the big screen. Evan Hansen is back for a wider audience in the adaptation of this Tony Award-winning stage musical.
Evan suffers from social anxiety but was pushed into the limelight when another student in their school, Connor Murphy, committed suicide. The whole school thinks he is Connor’s best friend due to a letter found when he died, beginning with the words “Dear Evan Hansen.”
The songs are what I was excited about to hear. In some parts, it’s awkward to hear the cast sing, but most times it’s heartfelt, like just delivering lines with melody. Of course, there’s a huge expectation about how they will perform “You Will Be Found.” No one can beat the stage musical version, that’s obvious, but director Stephen Chbosky (from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) did try. I’m not sure though about the “real people” videos, it seemed kind of fake. There’s no connection in “Only Us” but they did not perform “Anybody Have a Map?” Shame on you! “Waving Through the Window” is good in some parts, especially the beginning. The two songs I enjoyed most were “For Forever” which I think was heartfelt, and “Sincerely Me” which was always fun to watch (and to read).
With the exception of Amy Adams, the entire cast was just not cut off for the job. I get why they didn’t insert the ghost Connor here, I think they just didn’t want to take away the spotlight from Evan’s story, but it could have been fun. Colton Ryan as Connor could have been given a longer exposure, he did play the part in the stage musical after all. Also, sure, Ben Platt as Evan did fine, but there’s something cringy about Ben acting as a high school student, I’m sure you all heard about this complaint. It’s true, and it somehow sucks out the realness of the story.
Mortal Worthy (3 out of 5 stars). I wrote a glowing review of the book but the film seems to be lacking soul. It was good seeing it on the big screen, don’t get me wrong, but the Evan Hansen effect was not there. There’s something off with the messaging. Despite this, the important message the film wants to relay is still there.
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