Here’s the premise: Evan Hansen, a high-school senior with a severe social-anxiety disorder, whose letter to himself that was not meant to be seen by others, lands wrongly into the hands of a classmate who, as a result, commits suicide. This incident sends Evan on a journey of self-discovery and gives him the chance to finally be accepted by his peers and live the life he never dreamed he could have.
What an emotional ride, if you have ever felt like you were on the outside looking in or that you do not fit in, you will get this movie. If you have suffered from depression or know someone who has, you will get this movie. As someone who actually knows several people who do suffer from depression and had a friend commit suicide when I was younger, DEAR EVAN HANSEN really touched my heart. The emotions themselves is enough to drive this movie, but there’s more that carries it.
The script is solid as hell, it captures the pure essence of loneliness, despair, wanting to fit in, the emptiness of when someone you love is gone and you want answers. It is well written and pulls no punches nor apologizes for what it is. It’s honest, and does not give a Hollywood treatment to mask it all by making the characters funny or over the top. It’s a real look at what could be real people. The acting is fantastic, with Ben Platt leading the way, he rips your heart out and makes you examine it; you feel for him even when you don’t agree with his actions. I also loved Amy Adams as the grieving mother, and Amandla Stenberg as one of the popular kids who illustrates that all walks of life are subject to being depressed.
I highly recommend DEAR EVAN HANSEN, and have some tissues ready. q