Dear Evan Hansen, what did I just watch?!

Dear Evan Hansen is a disturbing film.

Dear Evan Hansen

The opening is as explanatory as it can be. But, unfortunately, it sets the tone to seem like another sad teen movie with an inspiring ending. But with this 2-hour plus musical drama, to arrive at the paradise of a finish, it drags its audience through cinematic hell.

The elements that achieve this are apparent; First is the age of the lead actor. Ben Platt(Evan Hansen), a 28-year-old actor, waddling in a high school hallway, is one of the most unconvincing performances I’ve seen this year. Of course, it is possible to make a 28-year-old actor work for a 17-year-old character, but the use of heavy make-up, a curly hair costume, and close up shots was the final blow to any plausible portrayal of a high school student.

The second is the morality of the plot. It is horrendous. So terrible that it makes this writer wonder how this idea was deemed fit to become a movie in the first place.

What Evan Hansen does is cruel. He is gaslighting this aggrieved family, using the death of their son ‘Connor Murphy’ to his social benefit while crafting a false narrative of the truth to attain self-closure, which only screams misery. I just couldn’t.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ being a musical, Its primary strength, apart from its appealing lighting, excellent cinematography and vocal deliverance of the songs, is the supporting cast; Zoe Murphy(Kaitlyn Dever), Connor Murphy(Colton Ryan), and Alana Black(Amandla Sternberg).

I have been a big fan of Amandla Stenberg since Hunger games, Colombiana, Everything Everything, and other excellent titles. But, I must add, if you’ll agree with me, regarding ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, that Amandla has appeared in pleasanter flicks.

When the official trailer for this former broad way production dropped, I was thrilled to see another teen high school movie with an awkward main character battling mental health. I have a knack for films like that. [It’s like one of my guilty pleasures]

However, my appeal for stories revolving around mental health doesn’t blind me from calling out bad qualities being promoted directly or indirectly.

While the concept of cerebral well-being and social anxiety ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ carries will resonate with myself and millions of Gen-zs, its didactic approach repels the audience from the main character and the entire plot. Evan Hansen was a horrible person, and no one should identify with that.

Like I said earlier, there is something about films themed on mental health that is refreshing like rain after a sunny day or dew after a sizzling night, but ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is nothing like that.

The film is a chaotic tsunami, tornado, sandstorm, and flood of cringe performances, bizarre plot progression, loud music and scary tear scenes, so disturbing; I still wonder as I do this review, what did I just watch!!.

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Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.

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