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Rocketman – Elton John Musical

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  • Atypical
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    Taron Egerton was indeed remarkable here and made me a true believer! The film itself hit just about every VH-1 “Behind the Music” cliche that it could possibly hit, which is what it is, I guess. That’s probably the tip of the iceberg with Elton John’s actual life, but points for not sugar-coating the drug excesses, whitewashing his homosexuality like a certain scummy and shitty film about Freddie Mercury just did, and showcasing the MUSIC in the way a musical biopic properly should. Those musical numbers! I can’t believe this is the same director that attempted to rehab “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or maybe we couldn’t see his true artistic sensibilities there. They were vital and fully realized, and Taron’s singing voice is surprisingly strong and engaging. I did want to hear Elton’s voice though, since these songs are so iconic and such, but lip-syncing was clearly not the goal in a film like this. The melding of songs, tempos, nonlinear storytelling and history, perspective, fantasy, etc. It was quite the viewing experience as a whole. I know that the representation controversy is swirling with everyone in this being straight, but they seemed to give these roles 100%, so that should be worth something too. Wish Jamie Bell had a bit more to do as such an essential component in Elton’s music. I always wondered why Bernie’s lyrics matched up so much to Elton’s life and demons without Elton writing a single word. Bryce Dallas Howard, hmmmm. Fun for what one-note she was given to play, but not much else. Gemma Jones was better in an even more limited supporting role. Richard Madden turned into the moustache-twirling villain way too fast, but that’s more a problem with the screenplay. I’d hope that Edgerton is a legitimate Oscar contenter, but for all we know, this film could be completely forgotten next year. He’s gonna suffer from the proximity of Rami Malek’s win in the same manner that Joaquin Phoenix was with Jamie Foxx. Sad, but completely true. Kudos to the effort all the same!

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