SilentDawn’s review published on Letterboxd:
What's immediately evident about Dear Evan Hansen is that horrible things happen when determined theater kids are given a chunk of money and total creative freedom. Ben Platt emerges as the latest ancient coffin creature on the Hollywood scene, rocking a killer set of squishy prosthetics that seem to expand like a pufferfish when he cries, and a mumbling surface level of anxiety that hides his calculating sociopathic tendencies. Every twitch and wacky gesture is a defense mechanism. Make no mistake, this movie is about a sniveling little liar who recklessly stumbles into a dumbbell PSA on mental health and suicide prevention, and somehow escapes the consequences of his own actions!
As a musical, it's dreadful. Even with Brandon Trost as the DP, this is about as visually interesting as an empty dishwasher. It's cute how they attempt a bare-minimum of musical choreography and camera movement in the first act (check this out, a *crane* shot of a gymnasium!), and then the rest of the movie consists of characters sitting in a chair or standing in a bedroom and singing these whiny ditties about how they hate their lives in Maryland. Just do something, anything! At least Evan's dad got up and left! The director, Steven Chbosky, should've attempted to cover up the stench of this narrative, because it fucking reeks. Misinformed, vile garbage.
That being said, I didn't *hate* this. Didn't walk out in a rage or anything. Mostly I was numbed by the experience. When I wasn't bored into a state of pure monotony, each mediocre song blending into the next, Dear Evan Hansen jolted me awake with its glee in embracing such an unlikeable protagonist. I was nursing an overpriced beer throughout, but I should've finished it so I could've had an excuse to leave the auditorium and go buy another can. Maybe even sit at the cinema bar. Does anyone actually do that? I guess I'll never know, as I just sat there like a loser and watched this movie.