It’s a little bit funny,
The last film I reviewed almost six odd months ago, was a musical biopic in Bohemian Rhapsody, (which you can check out here), a movie I have since developed less than positive feelings towards. The more I stew on it, the more annoyed I get but that is a rant for another day.
Fast forward to the present and we have Rocketman, the film Dexter Fletcher was supposed to direct all this while. Now before I get into my thoughts of the film, there’s something I want to bring to your notice. Due to BR’s enormous success, Rocketman was marketed as a run-of-the-mill biopic through its initial trailers. I’m here to tell you that Rocketman is a lot of things, but it certainly isn’t run-of-the-mill.
Oh, how it feels so real,
Rocketman is a Moulin Rouge-esque journey through the life and troubles of Reggie Dwight, aka Elton John, as he grows from his humble Watford beginnings to the pop superstar that we’ve come to love and adore. It tackles all the major milestones in his life, from his estranged relationship with his parents to his struggles with his own sexuality and later on, drugs and alcohol through Elton’s legendary repertoire of songs. This makes for a beautiful ride as Dexter Fletcher and Taron Egerton team up to deliver what is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. The film barely misses a beat, shifting between the comical and the tragical with effortless ease, with a beautiful soundtrack to boot. Fletcher’s decision to flip the rote biopic formula, on its head could’ve so easily backfired but the gamble pays off and how. It mixes the ordinary with extraordinary, the raw talent with the madness and confusion. It’s genius and absurd; Much like the man himself.
Speaking of the man, Taron Egerton is, pardon my French, fucking phenomenal in this movie. Rami Malek may have Freddie Mercury down to a tee, but Egerton as Elton John is really something else. He laughs, cries and sings with such conviction, that you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t moved by his performance. He’s backed by an able cast, with standout performances from Bryce Dallas Howard and Jamie Bell, playing his mother and his best friend/lyricist Bernie Taupin respectively. Bryce Dallas Howard, in particular, chews up whatever little screentime she has, turning in what is sure to be one of her career-best performances. Richard Madden’s turn as a conniving talent manager is great as well, whilst Stephen Graham’s performance as manager Dick James is pure comedy gold.
But it is still Fletcher and Egerton who make Rocketman the experience that it is. It takes you back to the time when rock was young, it emphasizes how sorry seems to be the hardest word and lets you know that Saturday Night is indeed, alright for fighting.
Favorite movie of the year so far. Should remain an award contender come award season, Rocketman is the best musical biopic to come out these past few years. It’s the best musical biopic I’ve seen in a while and I think it’s going to be a long, long time before I see something better. Go watch it if you haven’t already.