This real-life fantasy with drugs, sex, music, and emotions won’t go breaking your heart.
I come from a family of Elton John fans, and I was more than interested in dishing on the biopic “Rocketman.”
However, I was also curious about how the movie will “Go Jack Rabbit,” because it was directed by Dexter Fletcher, the same man who had to finish Bryan Singer’s lousy piece of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Some of us critics were left disgruntled by that film, although we admired Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury, but that didn’t stop Queen fans from seeing it, and Hollywood giving it the Golden Globe for Best Picture.
But now, let me share with you my opinion of “Rocketman.” It plays like a fantasy with musical numbers dubbed by Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John, and it also becomes dramatic when it reminds fans of the drugs, booze, and sex that nearly destroyed him, and his life as a homosexual. And his real name was Reginald Dwight, but let’s just call him Elton John.
Egerton is fantastic in the ways he improvises with the character, how he performs his own cover versions of the hit songs (from “Crocodile Rock” to “Rocketman,” etc.), and how he deals with the emotions inside. Even the real-life musician serves as an executive producer of the film, so he must know if things are going right with the story.
The movie’s cast also consists of Jamie Bell (utterly amazing) as lyricist Bernie Taupin, who serves as a brother towards Elton; Richard Madden (in his best performance since 2015’s “Cinderella”) as his manager and lover John Reid; and Bryce Dallas Howard (in her meanest since “The Help”) as his neglectful and uncaring mother.
The fantasy in “Rocketman” takes place in the musical numbers, like in “Crocodile Rock” when Elton and the audience are floating, and “Rocketman” when Elton tries to drown himself in the pool and sees his younger self playing the piano. Special effects are obviously used, and it was fun seeing him sing underwater.
The emotions take place during his difficult life as a child, a homosexual, and an addict of many sorts. When we see him tear up, we feel his pain, and when we see him upset, we feel his anger. What I admire in actors is their abilities to ease their emotions. I know I say that a lot, but it helps. And the movie is told during his support group.
“Rocketman” isn’t in it for the money like “Bohemian Rhapsody” was; it loves the fantasies and drama. Given its R-rating, we’re able to see how the tears, drugs, and sex threaten to destroy Elton John. And as we all know, he’s still alive and Crocodile Rocking.
Opens Everywhere May 31