Waving Through the Big Screen

Dear Evan Hansen arrives to the big screen and brings about many complaints.


Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?

Musical-turned-movie, “Dear Evan Hansen,” explores these questions through the story of teenager Evan Hansen, who struggles with mental health. The plot of the movie follows the huge mistake he makes in pretending to be best friends with Connor Murphy, a classmate of his who took his own life.

“Dear Evan Hansen” was released last Friday on September 24th, 2021, starring 28-year-old Ben Platt among many others who have played a role in the Broadway musical. Though the movie has received countless amounts of backlash, it finished second place in the box office charts, as “Shang-Chi” continues to keep its spot in first after four weeks.

The movie is directed by Stephen Chobosky and produced by Marc Platt, Ben Platt’s dad. This says a lot about how Ben Platt was able to land a role in the film, when the movie very obviously gives a point that he has outgrown the role.

Ben Platt looks like an adult among many teenagers throughout the movie. Though his cast mates are not teenagers, they were able to play their roles and look young enough to pass as a teenager. Platt, however, looked a lot older. This shows that the crew’s attempts to make him look like a teen failed miserably.

At certain moments in the movie it is obvious that Platt has had zero experience with on-screen acting and often uses methods of on-stage acting. For example, when Evan is shown crying, Platt over-exaggerates it, which would make it more apparent to a stage audience. Though Platt is talented, he is not fit for the role.

Among many other moments that made me cringe, “Dear Evan Hansen” clearly glorified Evan’s selfish actions. There was hardly any focus on how his actions hurt others around him and instead gave the spotlight to Evan, showing how his actions were bad on his mental health. Even though the whole plot surrounds Evan’s big mistake, he receives zero consequences.

“Dear Evan Hansen” victimizes Evan Hansen, rather than antagonizing him, which is not the way to go, especially if your story advocates for mental health awareness. The world could have done better without a movie adaptation of this hit Broadway musical.