“Dear Evan Hansen” could not have gone any worse

The stage-to-movie film was released just in time for the end of Suicide Prevention Month, but did everything the film possibly could have to create a cheap attempt at a way to make more money.

The movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” hit theatres Friday, Sept. 24, only to fall short on any positive expectations. Whether it be poor casting or disturbing storytelling, this movie had something for every moviegoer to complain about. 

The film adaptation is directed by Stephen Chbosky and stars several A-list celebrities including Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams and Amandla Stenberg.

When the trailer was released in May, the film faced backlash due to its unbelievable choice of casting. Evan Hansen, played by singer and actor Ben Platt, is a 17-year-old boy with major social anxiety who only wants to fit in and be heard. 

The overwhelming fear of anxiety is something many teenagers can relate to and could have been a great opportunity for the film to connect with its viewers. However, when the 17-year old is played by a 28-year-old man it is extremely hard to form that bond. Platt was the original Evan Hansen when the musical made its debut on Broadway.

This adaptation had the chance to be an excellent debut of a fresh, young singer, but unfortunately, Platt chose to make it about himself, as he only got the role due to his connection with the original cast of the musical. With this frustrating choice of casting, the film had little chance of being a success. 

This distracting choice of lead was only the beginning of what made this film a disaster. Perhaps the musical’s most well-known song, “You Will Be Found,” was performed in a childish way with poor directorial choices. This infamous song is an emotional and powerful ballad about suicide prevention, a valuable message for everyone to hear. This is where the glory ends, though. The editing of this song in the film is comparable to a sixth-grader learning how to make transitions in their PowerPoint presentation, these embarrassing choices ruining what is supposed to be a very moving song.

While this might not be entirely the movie’s fault, this film adaptation made viewers realize just what a terrible plot the movie has. It tells the story of a teenage boy, Evan Hansen, who suffers from social anxiety, has no friends and is suicidal. When Hansen’s classmate, Connor Murphy, commits suicide, Murphy’s family is lead to believe Hansen and him were friends. Rather than telling Murphy’s family the truth, Hansen goes on with the lie, gets a girlfriend, new friends and a voice. Eventually, Evan gets caught up in his web of lies.

This awful storyline does very little to actually promote mental health but rather narrates the life of a dishonest and attention seeking teenage boy that makes terrible decisions. It is hard to feel bad for Evan and his depression, when at times it feels like he does it to himself. Furthermore, it seems to always be other people’s fault that he is unhappy, rather than maybe looking at how he sees life. But this cannot be blamed entirely on the film, as it is recreating the plot of the musical. 

Even with this very concerning storyline, the film puts you to sleep simply because nothing exciting happens. Boring is the only word that can describe it. It takes strength to be able to get through the whole film without at least considering leaving early. But if you do leave early, you might miss the painfully stretched out ending. Just when you think there is nothing more to be said, another song begins and it feels as if it will never end.

If it has not been made clear, “Dear Evan Hansen” is not worth paying for the $22 ticket. The musical is one that will go down as one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, but the movie did not match the musical’s excellence and prestige.