My ‘Hall’ of Fame title works a double shift, denoting a multilayered touching film with the screenwriter’s name; Lee ‘Hall’ of War Horse and Billy Elliot fame. And while there’ll be plenty of ‘was this as good as Bohemian Rhapsody’ comparisons, I’ll be the first to say, ‘hell yeh’. AND, while no one is going to do what Rami Malek did with both face and dancing gyrations to Freddie Mercury, I think Hall’s screenplay has the story depth to make it a truly equally great biopic.
Besides both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman were virtually directed by the same guy, Dexter Fletcher, the hired gun after Bryan Singer’s Me, Too demise in the former film.
The only shenanigns in this flick were those of despondent Sir Elton, bent on self-destruct after years of both neglect and abuse by his horrible parents and a lover whose best descriptor might be sadistic d-bag. Is that too crude?
See Rocketman and I promise you’ll feel enough rage against this trio of twits to utter at least one profanity. But isn’t that what a tremendous movie is suppose to do? (Nod ‘yes’).
I certainly can’t be the only one who wanted to reach through the screen in Love and Mercy to strangle Paul Giamatti for slapping the hamburger out of poor Jon Cusack’s hand (aka Brian Wilson). That’s exactly how good the acting and writing is in Rocketman. Kudos to Bryce Dallas Howard for being such a great shrew of a mum.
Taron Egerton is a perfect Elton, capturing his tortured soul who, like most abused people, try again and again to get the love they need, but as the song says that I’m bopping to (hadn’t heard Honky Cat in so long until tonight’s movie), Elton trying to get love from those pathetic blokes was ‘like tryin’ to get whiskey from a bottle of wi-ine’. And speaking of lyrics, Jamie Bell believably played a sensitive, but wiser, Bernie Taupin.
The movie did a marathon effort of fitting in his biggest hits, appropriately situated to help tell Elton’s story. And stay through the credits to see the split screen of Elton’s iconic costumes and signature sunglasses.
I’d love to tell you my favorite scene, but then I’d be breaking my no spoiler promise. Here’s a hint though, it contains Matthew Illesley who plays the young Elton (Reginald). I predict Matthew is the next (About a Boy) Nicholas Hoult, meaning he’s destined for a successful acting career.
As you can tell, I was moved to the very end, skipping merrily out of CineBistro Siesta Key to “I’m Still Standing”. And I’ll be going back for a second helping and it won’t even take a “long long time”.