‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Review: You’ve Got a Friend (Not)


Taking a strange leap from Broadway stage to movie screen, the musical”dear evan hansen“The story of a liar, an accomplished fabulist who uses the suicide of a troubled classmate to gain popularity. Yet the film (I think in keeping with Its Tony Award-winning predecessor, which I haven’t seen) wants us to not only sympathize with this character, but ultimately forgive him. This is a big question.

It’s not just that 28-year-old Ben Platt, who reprises his stage role as Evan, is unconvinced as a high-school senior. John Travolta was in “Greece”. Suffering from crippling social anxiety, Evan is a sweaty mess, his sharp eyes and coiled body language stuns the other students as he sings lustily about feeling overlooked. (The lyrics are mainly by Benz Pasek and Justin Paul.) When a fellow estranged, unstable Connor Murphy (Colton Ryan), one of Evan’s therapeutic, self-addressed letters, remains in the possession of Connor’s devastated mother and stepfather. He takes his own life. (Amy Adams and Danny Pino) ​​become convinced that Evan was Connor’s best friend.

Instead of correcting this simple misunderstanding, Evan begins to enjoy its benefits, even enlisting an acquaintance (a Nick Dodani) to help create an email exchange between Connor and himself. does. Welcomed into the plush Murphy home, he grows close to Connor’s sister, Zoe (Caitlyn Dever), whom he has a crush on. The students find him at the school and his speech at Connor’s memorial goes viral. With each adornment, attention and social-media likes increase; It is in the trusting eyes of Connor’s mother that we see the cruelty of Evan’s deception.

Strangely written by Steven Levenson and directed by Stephen Chbosky (Who’s no stranger to teen drama)“Dear Evan Hansen” is a disturbing work, building a devious, superficial, and sometimes comical plot around teenage mental-health issues. The dialogue is brief, with hilarious on-the-nose song lyrics; Yet the story shines a useful spotlight on the seditious turns of the internet and the way in which social media exploits the tragedy. In one scene, students pose for selfies in Connor’s flower-adorned locker, conveniently forgetting that it was someone they previously disliked and ostracized.

Even with its long run time and emotionally overwhelming structure (there will no doubt be), this peculiar photo has a few bright spots, including a dazzling Julianne Moore who plays Evan She works more as a single mother. Moore may be missing for the most part of the film, but one of his songs is really so moving that it only underscores the emotional artistry surrounding it. Also notable is Amandla Stenberg, playing the resident school worker and moral conscience who brings an unexpected craving for a song about anonymity that she helped write. But the film’s most wasted opportunity resides in Dever’s subtle portrayal of Zoe, whose exhaustion over the family’s obsessive attention to Connor’s needs highlights the stress of being the brother of a troubled child. The moment is pushed aside when she admits she’s afraid of Connor, as she, too, is duped by a fairy-tale portrait of a beloved brother of Evan.

Treacherous and manipulative, “Dear Evan Hansen” sees the villain turn victim and grief into an exploitable vulnerability. It shook me.

dear evan hansen
A PG-13 rating is given for upsetting topics and embarrassing behavior. Running time: 2 hours 17 minutes. in Theaters.



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