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re: NYTimes: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Review: You’ve Got a Friend (Not)
Posted by: dcthie 05:48 pm EDT 09/24/21
In reply to: re: NYTimes: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Review: You’ve Got a Friend (Not) - mikem 10:40 am EDT 09/24/21

I also don't think the movie critic is obligated to see the stage show since she is reviewing the movie on its own.

What bothers me more is that she, like many other critics, makes Evan the only villain of the story without considering the circumstances. The reviewer said "Evan begins to relish its benefits, going so far as to ENLIST an acquaintance (a wry Nik Dodani) to help fabricate an email exchange between Connor and himself." It's clear on stage and in the movie that Jared volunteered to create those emails. Jared had no qualm about creating that lie. His only qualm was that Evan couldn't pay his asking price of $2000. In the movie he even created the Memorial page which contained all those emails and used it to fundraise. This is not behavior excusable. I had a bit empathy for the stage Jared because it was clear he had a very cynical view about how people gravitate towards disaster and some, like himself, can capitalize on that unfounded sympathy. Whereas in the movie he is such a well-rounded character that I can't believe he has no hesitation about the lie he helped create.

As for Alana, the review said "Also notable is Amandla Stenberg, playing the resident school activist and moral conscience." Really? If she were the "moral conscience," where was she when Connor and Evan were bullied (Connor was also a bully himself) for their "problems?" As the class president, she, presumably, could have done something about it. She didn't. I don't think she was as culpable as Jared. But for whatever reasons she gravitates toward the memory of Connor, being the "moral conscience" is not one.

The movie makes Evan confess his lie and makes amends at the end. To me that is totally unbelievable. For starters, all, if not most of the people who donated money would be asking for their money back. And I can't imagine Jared and, to a lesser extend, Alana, not be incriminated in the whole scandal. The stage version was actually more credible to me. Maybe not as morally satisfying since Evan got away with it. But believable since he is not really a courageous person. And if you really want to argue, he did lose what he gained from the scandal (the Murphys' friendship).
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