Elton John is a Rock Superstar, but my appreciation of him came later. My 70s music focused more on that other homosexual – Barry Manilow. But of course much later on, I started listening to Elton John’s music, and have a deep appreciation for his artistry. Then comes ‘Rocketman,’ his biopic. I had been looking forward to this, primarily because I was very disappointed with the Freddy Mercury one, and perhaps I may be in the minority on that one.
The good news – ‘Rocketman’ is better, even if it is sort of by the same Director, Dexter Fletcher. (He finished the last three week of shooting after Bryan Singer left) It is certainly more creative, and the story more soulful, as opposed to BoRhap’s by-the-numbers storytelling. It is not a musical in the strictest definition, not even jukebox style. The songs don’t try to tell the story, although it sometimes does, but never feel shoehorned in the moment. The pace is fantastic, although I thought that at its length (a hairline north of two hours) it should have covered more. And I wished there was more depth to the story, but I guess the film covers a very specific part of John’s early to mid life.
But all this quibble is drowned by Taron Egerton’s fantastic turn as Elton John. It is fully committed, and he gets to the core of the singer – he captures everything about the singer, even and up to his singing voice (Egerton sings all the vocals) Very rarely does an actor capture a character’s soul, and Egerton nails that here. And I must also mention the great chemistry he has with Jamie Bell, who plays Bernie Taupin. Richard Madden does fine with his one-dimensional role, and much has been said about their sex scene – it’s chaste and inoffensive by any standard – you can take your Grandma to see this and she won’t even blink.
But above all, the movie is a lot of fun. I found myself remembering how much I appreciated the music. This may not be the most ideal Elton John bio pic for me, but it will more than suffice.