Elton John could be one of the most versatile artists alive to date. Sure artists like Queen and David Bowie have had their fair share of diversity. However, John has done everything from disco to arena rock to working with artists like Tupac Shakur. John has gone to do music for films like The Lion King and The Road to El Dorado. He has build a career of iconic status and as the trailer for his biopic says, “you gotta kill the person you were born to be in order to be the person you want to be.” Throughout the duration of his success career – I would venture to say that gamble has been a success. Rocketman explores the truths of John’s careers.
Rocketman opens up on a setting similar to narcotics anonymous or alcoholic anonymous of all places. One of the very first lines spoken by Elton John actor, Taron Egerton, is “my name is Elton & I’m an alcoholic, a cocaine addict, a sex addict…” and the list quickly goes on. This moment is the very bedrock of the film – quickly establishing the raw, honest and musical aspects of the journey viewers are getting ready to embark on. That’s honestly one of the aspects I respected so much about this film, its’ vulnerable nature. This is a biopic. A genre which has been so watered down and diluted over the years. As if, we want to preserve the images of these individuals and elevate them to god status than remember they are humans just like me and you. Rocketman stands out in that regard that it’s fearless and unafraid to humanize its’ source material in Elton John.
That credit goes to both those behind the screen and on front. The behind the scenes crew is led fearlessly by director, Dexter Fletcher, and screenwriter, Lee Hall. Fletcher perfectly casts a timeless film that is raw and real – all while delivering some of the best shot sequences within the genre. While Fletcher has a beautiful and visual eye for the film, it’s the script from Hall that really lays the fantastic groundwork for such a memorable cinematic experience. Hall brilliantly crafts a journey of man in the search of love and acceptance by any means. Layered together with perfect music placement, humor and drama – this could be one of the best screenplays we experience this year.
Lee and Fletcher are an excellent behind the camera pair. However, it’s the breathtaking performance from Taron Egerton that really steals the show. Egerton completely disappears within the role of John. With the addition of fantasy elements, it makes the experience all the more surreal. As if viewers are taken by hand through this journey with Egerton personally leading the tour. There is a sense of brokenness and vulnerability that Egerton delivers with this role. Yes, we’ve seen moments of it previously in his career. Here’s looking to you, puppy scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service. Rocket Man really allows Egerton to showcase his full range as an actor and performance. Given the fact that the actor performs the actual songs, makes it that much better.
You know going into this movie, you’re going to hear a lot of John’s music. Though, it’s how the film delivers and weaves the music in that makes it special. Rocketman is focused on narrative – first and foremost. The music of the film is second. The music always fits the narrative. This choice as a storytelling element allows the music element to feel more nature to the viewers. The musical element is an absolute marvel to be held.
Overall, Rocketman, is absolute perfection and a cinematic achievement. A brilliantly shot film from director, Dexter Fletcher, giving viewers a visual experience which will last with them long after the credits. Screenwriter, Lee Hall, crafts a compelling, complex and undeniably emotional story from start to finish. Layered together with Elton John’s biggest and best hits that creates a narrative which stands out within the biopic genre. Taron Egerton is absolutely stunning and perfect for John. Delivering the performance of his career. Rocketman is a film to be experienced. It’s a vulnerable piece of art that others in the genre strive for.
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