I’ll admit, back in Moulin Rouge days, I left the first time in the first ten minutes, just too bucked off the equine by Luhrmann’s mania. But then, days later, I got back on the horse and gloriously rode to the finish. Great Gatsby, meh? But Elvis, now we’re talking and now I’m muting as I just listened to Amanda Dobbins of The Big Picture Podcast whine (which she does often) about what a disorganized mess the movie is. I’d like to tell her to saddle up and do my aforementioned move, try the ride again, my friend.
I had heard similar rumblings that the movie was a little nutty (peanut butter banana nutty, ok had to make one lame Elvis food joke). But boy do I disagree, rather, I agree, but Lord reviewers, do you understand what metaphor means….like Elvis’s LIFE was a manic mess due to bottom feeders and Colonel Parker, aka the snow man. I mean, dear naysayers, you do realize Tom Parker wasn’t an actual Frosty the snow man right?
I bought in from the get go, even Tom Hanks strange look and accent, I was IN the seat, happy, stunned at the music and not just the Elvis tunes, but the homage to blues and gospel players AND even more importantly (especially after the debacle of music I just heard John Huston use in the Wise Blood film adaptation) background music to add suspense. God. Bless. You. Baz Luhrmann!
And thank you for the kind, caring depiction of the King’s life, and showing us that he did experience joy, albeit fleeting. He felt the music and followed his heart and soul and even to be able to sustain that for a decade in the grand scheme of this weird wacky world, is saying something.
Luhrmann painted the late 60’s and early 70’s as well as Tarantino did in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and allowed Elvis to maintain his glorious innocence.
Now, would I have slowed down a few moments (as was done in Moulin Rouge) to let the emotions marinate, make us feel the loneliness of Parker and Presley? Yes. But again, maybe this was the trap he got caught in, so hammered by performing and subsequent drug use that it ruined any moments that could have been generated in a natural med-free state.
Still, Elvis is a 9.9 on my movie Richter scale equal to the impact he made with his hip gyrations. Long Live Elvis.