Late to the Dear Evan Hansen responses
Last Edit: lordofspeech 03:01 am EDT 10/19/21
Posted by: lordofspeech 02:55 am EDT 10/19/21

Diminished by its filming. In attempting to make it more naturalistic (and slooooow), the glories of pop-musical theatre were lost and it also failed to be successfully « realistic. ».

The actors were all ok (Julianne Moore and Danny Pino did very fine work). But when I saw it on stage, I marvelled at Ben Platt’s virtuosity and was moved by his character’s desperation. I wept at his first song onstage and it happened again and again onstage. Here, not so much, though his work was fine. I would guess there were too many cooks positioning it to be an “important statement” and trying to “fix” it.

I did read (on wikpedia) what the changes from the stage show were but couldn’t really grasp the minutiae of them. Overall though, As it was onstage, I remembered it as the Ben Platt show, where he was a narrative presence, an intimate guide-friend to the story for all of us in the audience. His connection to the aufience was like that of a rock-star,, and everyone else faded into the background until the late-in-the-show scene with lovely Rachel Bay Jones (playing his mother).

But the characters in the film were sorta more well-rounded, which was, I think, a detriment. The show doesn’t bear that well. It was, onstage, more of a dynamic, impressionist collage all filtered through this weird but magnetic boy-man, and it had a “concert” feel which made it modern.
The film was stylistically ho-hum.

I don’t think any of the problems w the film had to do w Ben Platt. It was in the rewriting and the direction. It needed to have been directed as a music video. That’s the careening rollercoaster feel it had onstage.

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