FILM REVIEW: Rocketman

There can be no denying the genius of Elton John.

The musician has spent decades pumping out hit after hit with his long-term lyricist Bernie Taupin.

Elton has shaped the way we perceive the world - he helped us grieve the loss of Princess Diana with Candle in the Wind '97, he made a road-trip staple with Tiny Dancer and made a whole generation of people believe in lion romance with Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

But behind the genius there was a deeply troubled man, grappling with his identity and the pressures of fame. That's what is explored in the truly fantastic biopic Rocketman.

The film from director Dexter Fletcher (the guy who finished off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired) and writer Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) chronicles Elton's life from childhood to achieving sobriety in the early '80s.

Piano man: Taron Egerton shines as the musical genius and flawed man that is Elton John in the truly fantastic biopic Rocketman, rated MA15+, in cinemas now.

Piano man: Taron Egerton shines as the musical genius and flawed man that is Elton John in the truly fantastic biopic Rocketman, rated MA15+, in cinemas now.

Rocketman is 1000 times better than Bohemian Rhapsody. While the Queen biopic boasted a terrific performance from Best Actor winner Rami Malek and a great sing-along atmosphere, as a piece of storytelling and movie-making it really lacked sophistication. Elton's biopic has none of these problems. It's told brilliantly in flashback, as the title character explains his life in group therapy. Taron Egerton plays Elton impeccably. While the pair - who acted together in Kingsman: The Golden Circle - don't really look alike, Egerton manages to capture the essence of the superstar and delivers a heartbreaking, toe-tapping, crowd-pleasing performance.

It's not only his acting that shines, it's also his incredible vocals. Audiences already knew Taron had pipes - thanks to his turn as a singing gorilla in the animated flick Sing, where, funnily enough, he sang Elton's I'm Still Standing - but seeing him belt out classics like Honky Cat, Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting and Bennie and the Jets is pure joy.

Also a joy is the costuming - Elton has always been known for his outrageous attire and Rocketman honours that with recreations of some of his most memorable looks. If you're even slightly a fan of Elton John - or you just enjoy good filmmaking - you should rush out and see Rocketman on the big screen. You'll be singing in your seat.

Rating: 9/10

This story Elton biopic hits right note first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.

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