Does ‘Rocketman’ Capture Elton John’s Legacy?

Rocketman
Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In recent times, it seems like there is a trend about biopic movies about music stars. People want to get the insights into the life of huge stars in the past or want to know the chain of events that occurred all wrapped up in a movie. That is why many movie companies started to invest in such movies. Bohemian Rapsody – who told the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen – had huge success winning four Oscars and there are even rumors of a sequel, that would portray the last years of life of Freddie, since the film stopped in 1985.

However, for now, we were gifted about a movie about another music artist and this one is alive and pumping: Sir Elton John. Rocketman comes infused with the music biopic formula and explains the life and times of the British sensation, who besides being a singer, a pianist. a compositor and a producer, is also an icon of the LGBT movement.

The flick is directed by Dexter Fletcher, who was also part of the team that directed Bohemian Rapsody. Fletcher might be the guru of music biopics by now since he has found very peculiar and unique ways of presenting the lives of music stars. He makes sure that the explicit content is included in the movie, as well as making sure all the stunts and risky scenes are done by the actors themselves, which brings authenticity. That is why this may be the first musical that is “R” rated or 18 years plus.

Elton John is played by Taron Egerton, who became famous for movies such as Kingsman and Eddie the Eagle. We can see the effort he put into the role just to deliver the real Elton John to the viewers. He announced that went through huge preparations and that he is also singing in the movie.

Rocketman
Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

He is joined by other brilliant actors such as Richard Madden, Robb Stark, from Game of Thrones, who plays John Reid, Elton’s manager and love interest. Curiously enough, the same character, Reid, was part of Bohemian Rapsody – since he also managed Queen – and back then he was played by another Game of Thrones former actor, Aidan Gillen. Meanwhile, the cast of Rocketman is completed with Jamie Bell playing Barnie Taupin, his Songwriting partner, Bryce Dallas Howard starring as John’s mother, Sheila Dwight, and much more.

The story covers his life from early childhood to middle-aged rehab. We can see one of the main posters of the movie portraying his concert in the house of current top picks on the odds to win the World Series of baseball, LA Dodgers.

The two sold out concerts in the Dodgers Stadium, fit the narrative to Elton John’s flick, from how Queen’s concert at Wembley during the Live Aid, fits on Freddie’s story (although the Rocketman also performed in the Live Aid, in the same day!).

Although, the movie moves very fast between some important milestones in the life of Elton John, what can you do when you have so much material and not enough time to put it in? The important thing is that the music does the heavy-lifting in the movie.

The pure talent of Elton John is beautifully showcased in this movie, capturing the right picture that will give you chills. Unlike recent musicals, this movie really reveals Elton’s private life. At one point in the movie, he admits that he had sexual relations with everything that moves on the planet.

Even though Rocketman has some explicit content showing all the struggles that Elton John went through such as the drug and alcohol addiction, it really captures the true emotions in the songs while he performs.

The director tried to cover all the life events of Reginald Kenneth Dwight (yes, that’s Elton’s real name). The best part is that all the down-to-earth scenes when he is a regular person are the best scenes in the film. Even though this movie represents the life of Elton John, the director probably went too far and that’s why we can see the announcement at the beginning that all actions must not be taken seriously.

There is no doubt in the legacy of Elton John and this movie catches all the right points. It has a balance between the fictional and real by still carrying the message. It is always interesting to see what huge stars have to go through life carrying all the fame and pressure on their shoulders.

This is a great biopic movie well directed and recorded at very high standards. The sound quality, as well as the visual effects, are stunning. The movie is highly rated in IMDB, 7,7/10 as well as in Rotten Tomatoes, with as astounding score of 89%. The latter actually, put the bar really high, claiming that “it’s going to be a long, long time before a rock biopic manages to capture the highs and lows of an artist’s life like Rocketman”.

If you still haven’t seen Rocketman, go ahead and do it, you will not regret it.

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