ROCKETMAN (2019) movie review:
Directed by Dexter Fletcher, ROCKETMAN is a musical biopic fantasy about the life of Elton John in his early years, and his battle with drugs, struggle with homosexuality, and his desire to be truly loved.
The film clearly understands Sir Elton is a man who’s liver a lavish life, whose music and fashion has become such a huge part of what defines who he is, so it takes a musical fantasy approach at it, where people break into musical numbers and literally FLOAT during concert performances, and despite the same old drug addiction issue all these musical biopics deal with, the way ROCKETMAN deals with them manages to still keep it engaging, and Taron Edgerton who plays Elton John just CHEWS the scenery at every moment. Rather than just doing a simple impression or trying to look as much like the real Elton, Taron really gets into the role and even performs all of Elton John’s songs himself, but never tries to fill on copy him and instead make his own version that is familiar just the right amount, and different enough to work well in the movie. And on top, how many of the songs such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocketman” and “Your Song” are used in the movie, make you see those songs from a different perspective. Jamie Bell as Elton’s songwriter Bernie Taupin adds a lot of heart to the movie, and both of them have such great chemistry from the first time they meet each other. Richard Madden as John Reid, Elton’s manager, plays the film’s villain, and despite being pretty one dimensional, still does a fantastic job in the role. Bruce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother, is rather interesting. A cold hearted character, but in moments clearly showing concern for Elton, especially in the scene where he tries killing himself and is being taken away to the hospital, for a second you see her face, and it’s a look of clear shock making you wonder if she really cares about him.
ROCKETMAN is an energetic, heartfelt and truly emotional look at a music artist’s life, which many musical biopics recently have been lacking, and is truly a love letter to Elton John and one of the most overlooked songwriters, Bernie Taupin.