Based on a true fantasy. I heard some great stuff about this film and it peaked my interest. I know that Dexter Fletcher filled in to direct the final weeks of Bohemian Rhapsody but for me this felt like his first true musical biopic I didn’t like Bohemian Rhapsody all that much outside of the music and Rami Malek. I’m glad to say that Rockeman is substantially better. Its well acted, well curated, and is even in nature. Its something that’s welcome as far as the quality of musician biopic’s go.
The film starts off with Elton John in therapy where he tells the story of how he got addicted to alcohol and drugs, primarily cocaine. We see the story of Elton’s youth, originally known as Reginald and how he grew up in a loveless household. He goes far with his natural gift but the pain of his past and his current affairs drive him off the deep end. Still, the talented musicianship remains and the film shows the journey of the highs and lows of Sir Elton John’s life.
The film is a musical in nature, as characters burst into song spontaneously, throughout the film. Taron Egerton brings a surprisingly great performance as Elton and brings the bombastic nature and all the intricacies of John to screen. He is really good in this. The music, all sang by Egerton himself also shows how much work was put into this. Fletcher’s film captures the magic of the music and the showman while also showing the dark stages of his life and the impact that substance abuse have on his well being.
The film follows the biopic formula, yet it does so fairly uniquely with its presentation in musical format and its connecting imagery. Its a colorful film and does a lot in its run time. Its a good time to be had whether you are familiar with Elton’s work or not. It’ll probably be a long long time till we see another biopic about a musician that is actually competent. Rocketman most certainly exceeded my expectations. Its the best film of the new releases this week at the cinemas.