Saturday 1 July 2023

Film Review: Dear Evan Hansen (2021) (Musical)

Dear Evan Hansen
Stephen Chbosky (Director)

A high school teen gets entangled in a lie after the letter he wrote himself is mistaken for a final note from a schoolmate who had killed himself. (Synopsis)

I would like to preface this review with two statements. One, I am a HUGE musical theatre fan, but two, I never got to see Dear Evan Hansen on stage, so this is my first experience with the show, aside from hearing a couple of songs on YouTube. To clear the elephant in the room first, yes, Ben Platt may have had a huge success with the show on stage, but it is painfully obvious he is too old for the role in the film. However, I was willing to ignore that if the rest of the film made up for it. Sadly, it didn't. As much as I love musicals, I was almost bored throughout. The songs all have essentially the same message and none of the melodies stuck with me, each number blending into the next. The only song that perked me up a bit was "Sincerely, Me", which was catchy and amusing. Ben's vocals had the occasional good moment, but the rest of the cast all seemed to sing in reedy head voice with no depth or support to the sound. Part of me wonders if I am too old to "get" this show. Maybe if I'd seen it in my teens rather than my early forties it would have resonated more with me. As it is, I felt little emotional connection with the characters. I am giving this film 3 stars. Worth checking out once for musical fans, but not a film or a musical I would bother to watch again.

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