REVIEW: Elton John’s life blasts onto the big screen


Larger than life—Elton John, played by Taron Egerton, plays an electrifying performance on piano during a sold-out show in 1975 at Dodger Stadium in “Rocketman.”

By Andrew Ayala

Singer and songwriter Elton Hercules John’s illustrious career and past has never been brought to light on the big screen until this year with the release of the epic musical masterpiece, “Rocketman.” The film shows most parts of the artist’s past and highlights both the good and bad.

“Rocketman” is a timeline of Elton John’s life, from being a child in England to becoming the iconic rock legend in America.

Elton John, played by Taron Egerton, is shown to be this larger-than-life individual who doesn’t let anything stop him from standing out and being himself.

Born as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, John discovers his love and passion for music and fashion at a young age with strong encouragement from his grandmother Ivy White, played by Gemma Jones.

Eventually, John finds himself and begins working with songwriter Bernie Taupin, played by Jamie Bell, to create the ultimate duo. Taupin would write the songs while John would perform them.

Once they came to America, John was an instant success and his career only skyrocketed from there. Everything changed once John meets his soon-to-be manager John Reid, played by Richard Madden.

The audience soon finds out that there is more to John’s life than he made public and although he performed with passion and magnitude, he was fueled by a harsh past and upbringing.

The film goes on to show the trials and tribulations that John faced in his life such as drug, sex and shopping addictions. From his depression to his dark and traumatic past, the film showed how he turned the darkness into light.

When people think of Elton John, they think of a rock god who pushed the boundaries and distinguished himself as an artist.

This movie does a wonderful job at showing that even rock stars are human and have problems. The film does this by getting intimate with certain love interests or other problems John faced at home.

Egerton did a great job at portraying the legend and manage to stay in character throughout the entire film. Viewers can see the pain and anger in multiple scenes through the actors facial expressions and dialogue.

The acting from all characters felt natural and was never forced, which allowed for smooth dialogue and character interaction.

There are points throughout the film which turn into musicals and may remind the viewers of films like “Grease” and “Hairspray.”

The film conveys pathos and touches upon subjects that most may have experienced, such as loneliness, family separation and love. Based off of the audiences reactions there seems to be a perfect balance of comedy, excitement and sadness.

The cinematography and special effects go hand-in-hand. There are scenes where the camera angles convey emotion and can explain or make the audience feel like they are actually there. The visual effects and transitions between scenes are smooth.

There are rarely any huge pauses or black screens which proves that the cinematography is genius and there is plenty of content for viewers to grasp.

Some biopics can be very corny or cheesy but “Rocketman” manages to keep audiences at the edge of their seats and makes sure they are anticipating what is going to go on next.

The costumes and wardrobe are just as flamboyant as John’s in real life. They are brightly colored, filled with rhinestones and include feathers and other materials that most wouldn’t wear or can’t afford.

“Rocketman” isn’t a typical biopic because it shows how Elton John finally came to peace with himself. The film can be seen as a culmination and blossoming of the artist that listeners know and love today.

The beauty of it is that one doesn’t need to know who he is to enjoy the film. Director Dexter Fletcher and writer Lee Hall did a great job at putting this masterpiece together.

They truly did give the life and legacy of John the light it deserves and audiences can definitely learn and take several lessons from the film.

Having Egerton play John was the cherry on top due to his grand performance of such an influential rockstar. This is definitely a must-see on the big screen if you are a fan of John’s music or persona.

“Rocketman” has a runtime of two hours and one minute and is rated R for language throughout, some drug use and sexual content. The film will be available to view in theaters on May 31.

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