Rating: *** ½
Dear Evan Hansen Movie Review: This is the most underrated film of the year. A musical with heart soul and guts which resinstates one’s fate in the power of love and music to heal broken hearts.
Unless you are not informed about happenings in the world of cinema or you live under a rock, you must be aware that the Broadway -styled musical has made a comeback in American cinema.We recently had the stunning Annette.We will soon have Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
In the meanwhile there is this dear dear movie, so brimming with emotions songs wit and vivacity I wanted to watch it all over again after its 2 hours and 12 minutes of playing-time.
Based on the blockbuster Broadway play of the same name in 2015, the film version is a lyrical love letter to the original . The very talented Ben Platt at age 28, pulls off the role of a 17-year old misfit with an endearing ease. Platt plays Evan Hansen,a social misfit who is mistaken to be the best friend of a student Connor who commits suicide. Rather than nip the lie in the bud, Evan Hansen allows it to grow and spread , causing progressive and illimitable hurt to the dead boy’s family.
It’s a story oozing emotions, conveying both hurt and healing sometimes simultaneously. The director with a screenplay that doesn’t shy of exhibiting emotions, milks the melodrama for all its worth. The songs are superbly knitted into the narrative and used not as charming diversions but to carry the plot ahead. For instance when Evan finally confesses his subterfuge to Connor’s parents( the gifted Amy Adams and the relatively average Danny Pino) he does it in song form, choking and sputtering over the words and yet staying in tune.
It’s an astounding performance catching the curves and dips of the character’s fragile mind with strong sturdy hands.Yup, Oliver Platt may be 7 years too old to play Hansen. But who cares! He owns the character with a silent sublimity.The rest of the cast is also remarkably well-tuned to the mood of melancholic musicality fusing the feelings of frugality and fragility.
The plot is carpeted with musical tropes: a life-changing tragedy, a romance between the dead boy’s sister and the hero pretending to be the suicide victim’s best friend. I also loved the mother-son relationship that Platt and the wonderful Julianne Moore created between them, almost like a universe isolated from the main event.
Don’t go by the scathing reviews of the film. They are missing the point. The transition from the Broadway play to cinema could not have been smoother. The film secretes an aching sweetness at its heart.Only good people can create something so noble. No point in being cynical about it.We sometimes get the movies we don’t deserve. This is one of them.