Biopics have become one of the biggest trends in film, lately. From the award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody to the twisted, Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, biopics all serve the same purpose: To communicate the life story of the person or people involved.
Following suit with other films, Rocketman is a biopic about the life and experiences of the legendary Sir Elton John. The film is a mental adaptation of not only John’s life, but his inner thoughts and images throughout. The approach made the film whimsical, at times a little cheesy, but overall enjoyable.
A biopic is nothing without the actor or actress portraying the subject character, and Taron Egerton’s performance of John really makes the movie as wonderful as it is. Egerton truly exemplifies every persona John led throughout his life, as well as the continuous peaks and valleys John faced throughout his life. He both exemplifies the innocence and naivety when entering the ever-changing showbusiness, while also showing how easily a person can crack from the pressure. On top of the character personification, Egerton’s portrayal of John’s performances is superb, playing up John’s eccentric nature and one-of-a-kind voice. Unlike Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody, Egerton actually sang John’s songs in Rocketman, which is a commendable feat all on its own.
The true dark horse of the film is the costuming designed by Julian Day. Day exquisitely reimagined some of the most iconic looks John wore over the years, while putting a new spin on them. This film has arguably some of the most carefully designed costumes from film in a long time.
The central point to Rocketman is the story of friendship between John and his writing partner, Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). John struggled throughout his life with drugs, abuse and almost every obstacle possible. Taupin’s constant support and unconditional love was truly the lifeline John needed to make it through the dark times.
The film differs from the standard format of biopics, in that it utilizes John’s perspective of the world and certain situations instead of just pointing a camera at people recreating events. Though this is a unique approach, it isn’t exactly executed the best way. It is formatted in a framed story, through John telling stories while in rehab. Though the execution isn’t the greatest, it does do a wonderful job of setting it up to be a live musical-type performance. It won’t be surprising if the film format of Rocketman is adapted to a Broadway musical medium.
Overall the film isn’t a masterpiece, but it is an exciting, whimsical and tell-all of John’s life. With John himself helping to create the film, it allows audiences access to a more accurate telling of his life, which sets the film apart from other biopics and made it special. Rocketman proves no matter what gets thrown at Sir Elton John, “He’s Still Standing.”