Review: Rocketman

The man, the myth, the legend behind iconic songs like “Tiny Dancer”, “Saturday Night’s Alright”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Crocodile Rock” to name a few has his fantastical life story deconstructed and reassembled again to highlight the pivotal moments and figures in his remarkable life and phenomenal career. Rocketman chronicles the metamorphosis from shy and introverted piano virtuoso Reginald Dwight into the dazzling and energetic showman Elton John.

From his turbulent childhood years with his parents Sheila and Stanley, to ascending superstardom, to self-destructive tragic genius, Rocketman follows John and highlights the figures who left an imprint on his life and career, from his best-friend and collaborator Bernie Taupin, to his former manager/lover John Reid, Dick James, etc. and covers the peaks and valleys of his musical and personal career. Rocketman is thoroughly honest, wonderfully executed, heartfelt, excited and like the man himself, a showstopper!

Dexter Fletcher went the distance to bring Elton John’s colorful life to the big screen and his efforts were not wasted in the slightest. The detail that went into this production was lavish and exhilarating and his vision to model this into a musical/retrospective therapy session actually worked for we actually saw the main figure of this movie stripped down and bared his essence and who and what drove him. That detail that went into this could reach beyond the screen and made a genuine impact on the audience.

Lee Hall’s screenplay is “outta sight!” In the way this movie was written, with such care and devotion, you could tell that they had such respect for the subject of this film, Hall and Fletcher wanted to get it right and they did with aplomb! They wanted to get to the main details of John’s story, the pure honest truth, and I came away with such respect for their storytelling prowess in this film.

Taron Egerton went above and beyond to do Elton John justice on the big screen and he is downright explosive in Rocketman from the first second you see him! I have nothing but admiration for performers who just dive right into the role he/she is playing and emerge only to transform into the characters he/she portrays and Egerton performance is of that caliber! Truly one of the best acting performances I have seen this year!

This movie featured a rock-solid ensemble from Jamie Bell who does a great job as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Steven Mackintosh, Tom Bennett, Charlie Rowe, Stephen Graham, Celinde Schoenmaker, Ophelia Lovibond, Sharon D. Clarke, Jason Pennycoke, Alexia Khadime, Matthew Illesley, Kit Connor, Evan Walsh, Ross Farrelly, Peter O’Hanlon; this is a very good acting ensemble.

Matthew Margeson’s music certainly livens things up, I really like George Richmond’s cinematography and Chris Dickens’ editing is very seamless and flows effortlessly throughout. Peter Francis and Marcus Rowland’s production design is eye-catching, the art direction is superb as is the set decoration by Kimberley Fahey and Judy Farr and Julian Day’s costumes are fantastic!

In summary, Rocketman covers the defining moments in Elton John’s life that ultimately shaped who he became, both personally and professionally, and it does touch on the dark aspects of who he was during certain periods of his life and it is indeed a wild ride!

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