‘Dear Evan Hansen’ an inspirational flick for those struggling with mental health

The musical is set to become one of the best films of 2021, and for good reason


Universal Pictures

Ben Platt reprised his role as Evan Hansen in the 2021 film.

So back in high school, I didn’t have many close friends. But my best friend, I felt like I could’ve told her anything. We spent so much time together, we would sneak out at night to hang out, get into weird situations, we even shared a birthday.

So when she told me about “Dear Evan Hansen,” I was really interested. Fast forward to a few months ago and seeing a trailer for a movie adaption, I was ecstatic. But does the movie live up to its stage play counterpart? I’d say most the most part yes, but in some other parts even surpasses it.

So the movie follows broadways favorite awkward tree nut, Evan Hansen, as he navigates senior year and after a fellow student commits suicide. The trailer spoils a lot so I would try to stay clear of it. And right off the bat, it’s different from the stage production; there are songs cut and things added. I’ll leave it at that, no need to compare. But overall, for what it is, the story really works as a movie while holding the spirit of the show.

The acting is really good. Ben Platt comes back to reprise his role as Evan, and the rest of the cast does great. The real standouts were the Murphy’s. The actors playing the Murphy’s had to portray different stages of grief after losing a family member and just through their body language, you can tell some are dealing with their grief differently than the others or not even dealing with it at all.

“Dear Evan Hansen” has always been a deceptive beast. From both the broadway and movie soundtrack, you’d think it’s all emotion. But shockingly the story does lend itself to humor. Some scenes call out some habits Evans has that are a bit, let’s say lonely, in a very humorous way. And the whole situation this movie revolves around, when Evan is explaining it, the banter between him and another character pokes fun at how weird this situation is. But when it does need to get serious, it leaves humor out the door. The movie does a really good job separating humor and emotion.

The music is also done really well. Of course, they cut songs but most of the songs they cut were more for world-building and not really for critical information. And the songs they put in their place tell the messages better and speak to a broader audience. The songs also feed really well into the dialogue; a lot of the singing done by the actors isn’t studio quality, pitch-perfect tone. They feel organic and live like they are recording the audio while shooting the scene, which is seldom done in the movie industry.

I do have a small nitpick, the editing is a little inconsistent. The transitions from scene to scene and beat to beat are fine but the editing in some musical numbers was a tad bit jarring. I think another round through the cutting room floor would’ve helped a bit. But I’m a camera nerd so I look for these kinds of things, for most people I think the edits will be fine.

I think stories like “Dear Evan Hansen” are really important, not just for teens or people living with anxiety and depression, but for everyone who feels alone. My friend had a lot of anxiety and depression, but she made me feel like I wasn’t alone through my struggle. And I feel this movie speaks to everyone who’s felt like us, like Evan, or those who lost a loved one, or anyone who just felt alone. If you need a good emotional time and some feel-good moments, I’d highly recommend it.