Film versions of Broadway shows are often hit and miss.
Dear Evan Hansen is a deep and meaningful,soul searching film on many levels. Music and Lyrics seem to speak for characters too afraid to speak for themselves, notably the lead character Evan Hansen, played by the multi-talented Ben Platt. The film version, however, lets itself down by trying too hard. Like the lyric Evan delivers to the audience, we too, feel that we are “always on the outside looking in.” The audience never really has enough time to fully immerse themselves as scenes merge and submerge themselves.
The obvious angst of the main character, riddled with anxieties and a penchant for depressive thoughts, is outdone by the protagonist, Connor, who is even more depressed, only better at hiding it behind a tough, bullying persona. When Connor commits suicide and Evan, unwittingly becomes his best friend through a letter beginning with, “Today will be a good day, and here’s why…” , a bizarre story takes shape which ultimately brings people together to heal.
As Evan is, “Tap,Tap,Tapping On The Glass”, however, the glass eventually shatters and all are left to pick up the pieces of their broken lives.
Platt won a well deserved Tony award for his Broadway turn as Evan Hansen and may even win an Oscar for the film version. Amy Adams as Connor’s gentle, alternative lifestyle guru, and very well off mother, gives a smooth, unfaltering performance. But it is Julianne Moore, who steals your heart as Evan’s long suffering single mum. When she sings her one song you really will feel your heart break.