Movie biopics have become of late kind of tricky, especially if that someone is still alive. I think last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody is a perfect example of those difficulties as that film felt more “tailored” than told. When someone is no longer with us sometimes you feel maybe more of the real story will get out, at least that is what you think might happen. While everyones story can be interesting, there is no better story than one of a music man, because well you can tell it by song, and almost everything is better with a little song and dance.
After the bitter taste that Bohemian Rhapsody left in my mouth, I was a little worried about another story involving the life of a rock star, but as any great chef will tell you, it’s all about the presentation. Everyone knows who Elton John (Taron Egerton) is, but do you know who Reginald Dwight is? Those two are one in the same as Reginald always had an ear for music and that music was given words by Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell), while Elton was the face and voice to the world. As life went from zero to sixty, Elton jumped head first into that fast lane, trying every drug and drinking everything in sight all in the name of stardom. While that was great for a moment, eventually that catches up to you and at that point Elton decides to try and fix that hole that he has been trying to fill up with all the things that almost killed him. Well they do say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and Elton found a way to live life and do some great things along the way without the drugs and sex, but never forgetting the true love, the music.
When it comes to Rocketman, it seems Elton John let them tell it all, even if it didn’t cast him in the warmest light. While that adds to the value, what really set it on the right track was using his music to tell his story. Every music number fills the screen with life and energy that often makes you want to sing and snap along with. The story written by Lee Hall focuses on most of his early career and goes up to the point where he becomes sober, even using that moment as the springboard for most of the film. The music is not the only great thing as Egerton kills it as John, so much so at times you think you are looking at Elton playing himself. Everything doesn’t go smoothly, as sometimes the story loses some of its steam, which slows things down a bit. Every time though there is a little lull, a song comes along to pick it back up reminding you the film is still standing. Rocketman is how you tell the story of a music man and trust me when you go, you are going to have a good time, because after all isn’t that what Rock ‘n Roll is all about?