Film Review – Rocketman

Directed:  Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Lee Hall

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden 

Tagline: “The Only Way to Tell His Story is to live His Fantasy.”

Trivia: Taron Egerton wears 53 different pairs of glasses throughout the film.

I have a confession to make… I LOVE musicals, maybe it’s the romantic in me, maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s growing up on all the musicals of the ’40 & ’50, the fact remains that give me a musical and I will be happy.

It seems that musicals about music groups are an IN thing. In 2018 we had Bohemian Rhapsody about Freddy Mercury, and in 2019 we got Rocketman about Elton John, both epic musicians and performers who have changed the music scene and led a life of sex, drugs and Rock & Roll.

However, nothing can be as different as those two movies. While Bohemian Rhapsody is a PG13 version on the life of Freddie Mercury and a bit of “behind the scenes” of the legend, Rocketman holds nothing back. 

Rocketman covers the breakthrough years of Elton John. Many critics are using that against the movie. But let’s not forget that while Freddie, RIP, has left us at the age of 45, Elton John is still with us and still making music at the age of 72.

When writing a screenplay you need to know on what part to focus in a person’s life to make the story enticing and that would hold the audience interest.

The choice that was made was, in my opinion, a great one. Starting from the first shot of the turning point in his life and tracking it back to the source of what made him what he is.

I found the use of his music as the anchor for the story and giving it a bit of a twist in interpreting it in order to showcase the storyline, refreshing.

It wasn’t just a jukebox playing his songs. The songs were the narrators of the story and let’s not forget the fantastic choreographer of the dances, because what would be a musical without awesome dances.

The other element that I loved was that the tribute to the outrageous costumes Elton John used and obviously his ultimate glasses collection.

Just as Rami Malik managed to catch every minuscule body resemblance to Freddie Mecury, Taron Egerton is giving an amazing performance of Elton that at times you tend to think you’re watching an old video of the original.

What made the movie a better one than Bohemian Rhapsody, is the fact that there was a real introspect into the person and the change he had to go in order to get over his addictions.

Even though, some cynics might say the scenes about connecting to the younger child in him and learning to love him is “schmaltz”, as a therapist I really appreciated the way it was portrait, even if it was in a simplistic way.

For me as a writer it was a great opportunity to see how you treat such deep psychological issues without going too much into the “heavy” side of it, as at the end we’re in a musical.  

For me Rocketman came out as the better movie between the two, a lot due to the fact that the focus was on the psychological side of the person and not the music.

In my book it gets 4/5 Stars


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