“Dear Evan Hansen” transfers well to big screen

Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway in December, 2016 and won a Tony award for Best Musical and Best Score.

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Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway in December, 2016 and won a Tony award for Best Musical and Best Score.

The theatrical production of “Dear Evan Hansen” was adapted into a motion picture. While there were differences between the two, they still did a good job of transferring the strength and effectiveness of the musical to the big screen.

The plot stays identical to the theatrical version: Evan Hansen, a high schooler with no friends and severe social anxiety, writes a letter to himself detailing how bad his day went. This letter is later mistaken to be the suicide note of fellow student Connor Murphy. In the face of a grieving community, Evan must make a decision: admit that the things written in the letter were about him or pretend to have been friends with Connor.

Certainly the role of Evan Hansen could be played by none other than Ben Platt, the star of the original Broadway cast. Though it can be jarring at first to see a 28-year-old playing the role of a 17-year-old, it only bothers you for the first few scenes at most.

The story being in a movie format instead of a theatrical production allows the actors to do more. For example, while Zoe (Connor’s sister) is singing “No Requiem,” a high speed car scene occurs which adds more emotion to an already emotional song. That couldn’t be done on a stage, and it makes the song so much better.

While it’s a shame some of the original songs were removed from the movie, two new songs were added in their place. Both songs, “The Anonymous Ones” and “A Little Closer,” deal with feeling alone and being trapped in your mind.

Overall we’d say “Dear Evan Hansen” is a must-see movie for all teenagers. Many themes can be found in the movie that we can relate to: the grief of losing a loved one, experiencing depression and anxiety, feeling alone and more. In the age of a pandemic where all of these are at an all-time high, it’s a good story to reflect on occasionally to remind yourself that you aren’t the only person with problems and you most certainly are not alone.