The 8 biggest differences between the movie and the musical

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In the transition from the musical to the film adaptation, it’s no surprise that Dear Evan Hansen has undergone a number of big changes. As the story changes medium, changes are needed for reasons of time, scope and structure, but it is also an opportunity for filmmakers to respond to criticism and modify the original story. .

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Some of these changes may seem small but end up having a significant impact on the entire movie and some are obvious changes that will stand out to anyone who has seen the play. While the film makes some major positive changes at the end of the film in an effort to hold Evan more accountable for his actions, some of the other changes made along the way help and hurt the effectiveness of the story.


8 Cut songs


One of the first changes audiences will notice is the removal of several songs from the play, including “Anybody Have a Map,” “Good For You,” To Break in a Glove, ”and“ Disappear. ”Plays a role important in the play, highlighting a secondary character or further developing a theme.

By deleting “Does anyone have a card?” In particular, the whole story is altered, and keeping this song cut would have done Dear Evan Hansen very different. Rather than giving the first song to exhausted but loving mothers, “Waving Through A Window” becomes the opening number and serves as an introduction to Evan and the world of film, giving the story a different tone.

7 New songs


Evan and Alana work on a laptop in Dear Evan Hansen's library

It is common for many musical adaptations to feature a new song, usually one that will be eligible for award nominations at the end of the year, and Dear Evan Hansen sees Alana sing an original song called “The Anonymous Ones” and Connor sing the closing number “A Little Closer”.

The songs are an important addition to the soundtrack which further expands the film’s messages about mental health and takes small steps towards progress. In addition, the songs also help to give more dimension to the characters of Alana and Connor.

6 The casting


Evan Singing "Waving through a window"

An inevitable change from play to film version is the cast. The Dear Evan Hansen the cast is filled with recognizable actors from other movies and TV shows. Having familiar faces that audiences are already attached to certainly helps make characters, especially those who make morally questionable choices, more endearing.

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As Ben Platt returns to the role of Evan after creating the character on Broadway, he’s grown and changed since he last performed the play. While his older appearance has an impact on the character’s perceived naivety, he also modifies his performance to better suit the film’s more grounded tone by further emphasizing Evan’s anxiety and insecurity.

5 Smaller role for Jared


Evan and Jared work on a computer in Dear Evan Hansen

In the play, Jared is one of the most important supporting roles and primarily serves as Evan’s person to play. He also brings a lot of comedic relief by calling out to Evan for his weird or questionable behavior. However, Jared for the most part disappears at the end of the film. Because he is less crucial in the second half of the story, the film diminishes his role and increases the role of Alana.

The play does a great job of balancing a quirky tone and a serious message, but the film tone down the humor and lean more into the message. As a result, it makes sense that Jared isn’t considered as much in the movie as he is in the play.

4 A bigger role for Alana


Amandla Stenberg as Alana Beck in Cher Evan Hansen

In the play, Alana has an important role but above all a note in the story. However, in the film, she has one of the most important supporting roles and has more screen time to develop. She has more personality and even gets her own song to express herself, which makes her connection to the Connor Project more meaningful.

This is one of the most effective changes in the movie as Alana is transformed from a fairly generic supporting character in the play to one of the best characters in the game. Dear Evan Hansen movie.

3 Connor


Connor looks dejected in the halls of the school in Dear Evan Hansen

Although Connor has only a limited physical presence in the story, he is an extremely important character. In the play, Evan sees visions of Connor after his death, which encourages him to keep his memory alive. The film does not include this element of the story. The film also makes him a friendlier character and gives him more depth. He is portrayed more as a tortured soul than an abusive tyrant.

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The play primarily uses these sequences to manifest Evan’s internal thoughts and feelings, but the film is able to convey it quite effectively without the visions. Because the movie is more grounded than the play, it makes sense to make that change and use video footage of him so he can come back for the finale instead.

2 Confess the truth


Evan stands onstage in front of everyone in Dear Evan Hansen

One of the biggest criticisms of the play is the lack of accountability that Evan faces at the end of the series. The Murphys hide his lie and the public never finds out what he did. The film, however, corrects this by asking Evan to make the decision to confess the truth to the world.

Considering the extent of Evan’s deception, even this ending still feels like he’s taken off the hook too easily. But it’s definitely an improvement and helps make Evan a better character. This ending fits the messages of the movie better and is a more satisfying conclusion to the story. Dear Evan Hansen might not be the best coming-of-age movie, but this moment of responsibility and growth is a significant improvement over the play.

1 Getting to know Connor


Evan stands by his locker in Dear Evan Hansen

After Evan and Heidi have their heartfelt conversation in the play, the musical moves forward a year to feature the closing scene between Evan and Zoe at the orchard. But the movie uses an extended third act to show Evan finally respects Connor by trying to find out who he was through conversations with people who really knew him, reading his favorite books, and watching videos of him playing the game. guitar in rehab. .

Although this is mentioned briefly at the end of the play, the film explains it in more detail and allows audiences to actually see Evan put in the time and effort to find out more about this person he claimed to be best friend with.

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