Rocketman (2019) – Dir Dexter Fletcher

After being parachuted in to try (and fail to) save Bohemian Rhapsody, Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith) gets to release his own take on the life of a music legend.

 

Starring Taron Egerton (Kingsmen), Jamie Bell (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World). Dexter Fletcher uses a musical format, rather then the biopic approach of Bohemian Rhapsody, to tell the story of Elton John’s rise from child prodigy to international rock star.

Consequently, there is a lot of breaking into song as the movie works its way through the greatest hits. This is a much more successful method of telling the story and bringing across the emotion of the journey which eliminates the issue of the timing of the release of the songs. Instead they are picked to match the needs of the script.

I had my worries for this film after seeing the trailer and having really disliked Bohemian Rhapsody. It was therefore, a massive surprise to discover that this is actually brilliant. Taron Egerton is perfect as Elton John, helped immensely by the fact that he sings the songs himself. If justice is to be done, he should receive an Oscar nomination next year.

I am not a massive fan of Elton John and so its is further to the films credit that I ended up really caring about him as he dealt with the void in his life left by his family life. The musical sections are superbly directed and imaginative. Supporting turns by Richard Madden as his manager and Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin are equally good with only Bryce Dallas Howard’s slightly off putting accent hitting a duff note!

Rating – 8/10 – A surprising triumph. Brilliant acting and a spot on musical that doesn’t shy away from the dark side of Elton Johns success.

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