I should probably lay my cards on the table here, I fell in love with the soundtrack while listening to Ben Platt singing it on Spotify – The Original Broadway Cast Recording. I am a fan of Ben Platt, he started his career as a child on the stage, appearing in the Sound of Music before going on to appear in the irreverent Book of Mormom. He played Evan Hansen for 2 years from 2015, a role he won a Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award for. At 23 he became the youngest recipient of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.
Seeing the musical in London was a no brainer, I went with my daughter Alexandra and saw Sam Tutty in the Evan Hansen role, he too won an award, at just 22 he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. There must be something about the role, he too was the youngest to receive the award. While I enjoyed the show and thought Tutty was brilliant I wasn’t blown away in the same way I have been each of the 4 times I’ve watched Hamilton.
I was waiting for the film with baited breath, in spite of a couple of moans I’d heard about 28 year old Platt playing the teen Evan Hansen. I tend to want to make my own mind up about these things so was happy to know the film was finally here! I’m an Odeon Limitless member so looked for a date at my local cinema in Chelmsford, but no, in spite of watching trailers there, they aren’t showing it, a big boo to them! Colchester however were, so a 20 minute drive and some confusing car parks and I was sat ready to watch.
I was prepared to be disappointed, but I was enthralled from moment one! I couldn’t have cared less that Ben Platt is not a teenager, it was an absolute delight to watch him singing the songs I’d been belting out for a good 2 years (I didn’t belt them out in the cinema – but I was tempted!). Platt really has a stunning voice and it really is put through its paces in this film.
As a big fan of ATYPICAL on Netflix, having Nik Dodani playing Evan’s ‘family friend’ was genius and Kaitlyn Dever as Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister has a lovely voice and performed really well as did Amandla Stenberg as Alana Beck. There were a couple of new songs for the film, one of which was sung by Julianne Moore as Evan’s Mum, her singing was ok, but I’m not sure I’d have wanted to hear her singing one of my favourites.
As a mother who’s lost a child, albeit to an accident, the show/film was bound to pull at my heart strings, I felt the size and shape of such a huge loss was easier to see on a screen, I suppose because we can see the emotions more clearly.
Please don’t be put off by miserable reviews of this film, I absolutely loved it and will be keeping an eye out for it to appear on my TV. I loved In The Heights so much I watched it twice at the cinema, then bought it in the Sky Store last week, I’ll be doing the same with Dear Evan Hansen, this is in my opinion, A MUST WATCH!