- Director: Dexter Fletcher
- Writer: Lee Hall
- Producer: Matthew Vaughn; David Furnish
It's a little bit funny...but, the friendship, song and performance that catapulted Elton into the far reaches of the stratosphere...not included in this - the early years - bio-pic. Of course, we refer to Princess Diana...perhaps, presumptuously, there will be: Rocketman: The Later Years!?!
Until then...we will have to settle with this version of events. And...what a bittersweet version of events they are! Obviously, comparisons are going to be made with Bohemian Rhapsody, the two films have a few of things in common...a gay superstar, Dexter Fletcher as director/[uncredited] co-director...and, John Reid, one-time manager of both acts. Neither film do him any favours! What a horrid man!
Think more Sunshine on Leith than Bohemian Rhapsody...this is a musical rather than a film with songs. From the opening scene, it's obvious there's a tongue-in-cheek approach...Elton [in the guise of a demon] declares himself to be an alcoholic, a shopaholic, a drug addict, a sex addict...Holy Moses, it ain't gonna be a squeaky-clean bio-pic afer all!
There is a bit of that old chestnut: It's lonely at the top. That old misery...better being miserable when you have a few million in the bank than being miserable skint. But...hey...if you're still miserable and lonely and unloved when you're loaded...that's when the demons [really] creep in and cause havoc! Elton came - perilously - close...to an untimely end.
As mentioned Joh Reid gets a bashing...but, the bashing doesn't stop there...his parents - most certainly - don't get off Scot-free. This is not the cliché of a distant father and an over-protective mother making a gay kid, this is a loveless father and a mother who had other things [mainly men] on her mind. A few scenes will definitely tug at your heartstrings...when you see the disappointment on this gifted kid's [adorable] face...you will melt. Even when he becomes Elton, he still has the power to make you melt...when he's in the car, looking at what could have been. It's brief, it's emotional and it speaks volumes.
As do the songs, re-interpreted and, my Gawd, do they have poignancy. It's almost as if Bernie Taupin knew exactly what was going on in Elton's life and mind. Speaking of Bernie...well, compliments don't come much bigger or better than this...Elton's unrequited love and true friend. Renata [Elton's ex-wife] gets a heartfelt apology...it's a very sweet moment indeed.
Taronstartling Egerton...clinched it between his teeth and threw himself into the man himself...not an easy task, considering 'the man himself' was the Executive Producer! Truly, a startling portrayal of an unloved man and his startling career.
Finally, kudos to Dexter Fletcher and his [entire] team. He [and they] captured it all...the extravagance, the highs, the lows...and, most importantly, the songs. Those 'old' songs have been given a new lease of life...what's 'your' song? So many to choose from!
Nothing short of...fabulous!
A little teaser...
The story of Elton John's life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.