Why Dear Evan Hansen is facing a lot of backlash from fans

·4-min read
Photo credit: Universal
Photo credit: Universal

The much-anticipated film adaptation of the hit Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen finally hit cinemas over the weekend. But while plenty of fans were just happy to see the film after the long wait, others were quick to spot a few problems with the star-studded musical. Here's why Dear Evan Hansen is already facing backlash from viewers.

The film follows a high school kid who suffers with social anxiety and at the request of his therapist starts writing letters to himself. After one of Evan's letters is mistaken for a suicide note for one of his classmates, Evan gets caught up in a lie that gets out of hand. The original play has long been praised for its frank and heart-wrenching exploration of loss, grief and loneliness, so when news broke that a film was coming, fans were overjoyed. However, almost as soon as the first trailer landed, people began criticising a number of elements of the film, from the casting to the make-up.

Photo credit: Universal
Photo credit: Universal

The majority of the backlash centres around the fact that the film's central character, 16-year-old Evan Hansen, is played by Pitch Perfect star Ben Platt who is 28, and while a lot of work has gone into making him look younger, audiences apparently found it entirely unconvincing.

Meanwhile, one of the show's producers, Mark Platt, just so happens to be Ben Platt's dad, which has led to a number of accusations of nepotism from fans, with some of them suggesting that's why Platt was cast to play a character almost half his age.

However, the film's director Stephen Chbosky revealed in an interview that he had wanted Ben Platt for the role given that Platt had played the part on Broadway from 2015 to 2017, picking up a Tony Award in the process.

"It was always Ben," he told The Hollywood Reporter, adding, "Having heard the soundtrack and knowing what it was, understanding his connection to it from the very first workshop, it was him or nothing."

Meanwhile, other fans have come to the film's defence, saying that Platt's age didn't matter to them since they found his performance and the whole film so compelling, with others pointing out that actors are often cast to play much younger roles without the same level of criticism.

Whatever your thoughts on Ben Platt's casting, we reckon the rest of the lineup (Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg and Amy Adams) will get you sprinting to the cinema regardless.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting