I’ve been a fan of Elton John for a while. His voice is really amazing, and his songs have certain creativity and uniqueness to them. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’d say that I was out here clamoring for an Elton John film. This all changed once I saw the first trailer for Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman.
From the first time I saw the trailer for Rocketman, I knew it would be something different. I still haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody for many reasons, primarily for the reason that its director Brian Singer is an awful human being who likes to abuse children. The film also looked kind of bland, and the actor who played Freddy Mercury (Rami Malek) didn’t even sing the songs of the character he was playing.
Some people know that Brian Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody and director Dexter Fletcher came in and finished it. It seems like whatever he learned on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody was translated into making Rocketman.
I want to start off by saying this movie was an absolute delight on every front. My favorite film of the decade is La La Land. I could go on and on about why I love that movie so much, but the reason I bring it up is that Rocketman is my favorite film since that. What Rocketman does with Elton John is utterly beautiful. The way that the story folds out is clever and allows us to see different time periods of Elton’s life in a natural way.
I would like to talk about the cast of this film a little bit and in particular, Taron Egerton. What this man just did in Rocketman needs to be recognized at the Oscar’s. Egerton not only became Elton John but sounded like him as well. He learned how to play the piano from scratch. He took vocal lessons every day for weeks to play this role and holy hell did it pay off. Egerton’s voice is BEAUTIFUL. I’m listening to the soundtrack for this movie while I write this review and it’s just astonishing how talented Egerton is. Besides sounding like Elton John, he freaking became the guy for this role. The range he was able to show from a young man that was hopeful about his music career, to a broken man whose life has been turned around is nothing short of extraordinary.
I thought Jamie Bell (Bernie) was also fantastic in this movie. The comradery between Elton and Bernie was the heart of the film to me. There’s a moment where Elton yells at Bernie after someone was yelling at him, and Elton looks around and apologizes to Bernie. Bernie, in the most honest and caring way possible, replies with “Elton, I Know.”
It was beautiful and it felt so realistic. I would love to see Jamie Bell get some recognition for his role in this. I thought Bryce Dallas Howard was pretty meh, to be honest. Richard Madden was good at being an awful human being in this. The rest of the cast was good, but Taron Egerton and Jamie Bell elevate this film to the highest of levels.
The direction of this film was brilliant. Dexter Fletcher was able to mix story with music in Rocketman in an almost seamless way. I loved the epic musical pieces in this. There are times when Elton would be talking and then just break out into song, but it worked. It worked in the way La La Land worked so well for me. The musical bits, one towards the middle of the film especially, just made watching this movie an amazing experience. Rocketman is a film that I’m going to see a few more times while it’s in theaters and then buy it on Blue Ray and watch it even more. It’s that good.
There’s also one scene in this movie where Elton is playing the piano and he starts to float. It’s obvious that he can’t actually float, but then the crowd starts to levitate into the air. Dexter Fletcher’s ability to add these fantastic elements to a story told by truth was phenomenal. It’s probably my favorite part of this film. Things would happen that simply can’t happen with the laws of nature, but they do because film is an art form. I just wanted to point this out because I think it’s incredibly overlooked and something that I just adored.
Rocketman is an extraordinary achievement from all involved in its production. It somehow was able to make a biopic feel fresh, something that almost never happens. It felt like an actual film rather than just a re-telling of someone’s life. I adore this film and strongly urge everyone to go out and see it. You’ll appreciate Elton John even more, and you’ll most likely leave the theaters trying to figure out how Taron Egerton was able to sing so well. Rocketman hits it out of the park.