Films such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Straight Outta Compton have seen a new age of music biopic adaptations come to the big screen. The latest, Rocketman, is the coming of age story that started as Reginald Dwight and continues as international rock star, Sir Elton Hercules John. Elton is portrayed by Taron Edgerton in an outstanding performance that leaves audiences dancing in the aisles.
The film follows the story of Elton and his battles with drugs and addiction as he makes his rise from bar singer to rock star. The movie gives an insight into the daily struggles that he faces in the public spotlight, as he fights with his sexuality and overcoming the lack of support from his parents.
The main charm of the film is the friendship Elton shares with his lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). The film brilliantly constructs the amalgamation of two creative souls in the union found in music and lyrics.
Edgerton’s portrayal of the flamboyant John sets this film apart in the adaptation genre. Taron has the acting prowess to use his schoolboy humor to shed light on the darker scenes in the movie. Edgerton also plays the piano and sings in the film.
The dark times in Elton’s life often have music manager John Reid (Richard Madden) in the shadows. Reid was Elton’s first love and the only person he could not live with or without. Madden’s portrayal of the enigmatic Reid showed audiences both his manipulating nature as well as his possessive ability over Elton.
The music of Elton’s extensive songbook is underused in the film. The decade that cemented Elton as a household name for a younger generation, the ’90s, is completely removed from the film. Songs such as “Candle In The Wind”, which was re-released in the ’90s after the death of Princess Diana, and “The Lion King” soundtrack does not feature in the film.
The film is certainly going to get audiences tapping their feet and singing along to timeless hits of the Rocketman.