Martin D. Goodkin

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Entertainment > Movies > "Dear Ivan Hansen"--movie Theatre Review
 

"Dear Ivan Hansen"--movie Theatre Review



Let's tackle the Internet 'problem' that this movie has faced the pass couple of months. Anyone going to the movies has to suspend belief in many cases, especially when it comes to musicals. We easily accept that someone will sing and dance in the rain on a street or people will burst out into song and/or dancing on subways, in classrooms, Central Park, in the White House and everywhere else. For awhile now there has been outrage expressed that Ben Platt, a 27 year old man will be playing a teenager in this movie which he took from a workshop at the age of 20 to being a big hit on Broadway with his winning a Tony award 2 year later in the role. Most of the lead students in the movie are in their 20s and ALL, including Platt make you forget they aren't teenagers.


Another jab at Platt is that his father produced the show and that is why he got the role but when you consider he won 8 awards for his role including the Tony, Grammy and Emmy he, obviously deserved to cement his doing the role on film and let's just say upfront whatever success the movie has will be due to his performance!


It is only when Platt is on the screen singing and/or dancing does "Dear Evan Hansen" become alive, moving and meaningful. The non-musical, straight drama scenes, the fault of screenwriter Steven Levenson and director Stephen Chbosky, are a combination of being boring, very low sound and hard to understand such as a scene between Amandia Stenberg and Ben Platt that is important to the movie but not understood by the audience.



The choreographer is sort of a mystery unless the director also did the choreography--and I searched and search but couldn't find a credit for choreographer--and if he did than there is a great difference between his straight dramatic scenes and musical scenes with the former coming across flat and the latter presenting a life that lacks from the movie otherwise. Watching Ben Platt doing the opening number and later at an assembly honoring a dead student will make you understand that it was neither age or his father's millions that makes him so successful as the title character in "Dear Evan Hansen"!


I recommend "Dear Evan Hansen" for Ben Platt's performance, sweet and emotional singing voice captured on screen, not for its adaptation to the screen from the stage though it does handle the ending much different and better.


posted on Sept 24, 2021 3:34 PM ()

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