“Rocketman” launches with energy

CreditDavid Appleby / Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Photo
Jamie Bell, left, and Taron Egerton as Taupin and John in “Rocketman.”

Biographical renditions (biopics) are ways for filmmakers to tell stories about significant figures throughout history with film. This year with “Bohemian Rhapsody” being awarded Best Actor with Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, it seems like musical biopics are becoming more mainstream. Studios appear like they are interested in films involving musicians. After exploring the story behind the group Queen, audiences now get to see the life of Elton John. The singer and composer is a household name that was responsible for some of the most popular tunes of all time. People around the world have fallen in love with his tracks such as “Tiny Dancer” or “Circle of Life” and the affinity for them has no end in sight. Therefore, it makes sense for a movie like “Rocketman” to be made.

“Rocketman” is the life story of Elton John (Taron Edgerton) from his early days of a musical prodigy to then selling out arenas. The film shines a light on the aspects of John’s career that fans did not get to see, including some of his highest and lowest points. In the process, it tells one of the most fascinating rise-to-fame stories of our time.

Taron Edgerton has tremendous pressure on him portraying the legendary musician, especially after Rami Malek’s incredible performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Despite all of that, he puts on possibly his best show of his burgeoning career. This casting choice might seem “out of nowhere” at first, but the movie shows that he is the perfect candidate for the role. His mannerisms, and the way he performs the songs, charmingly resembles John.

It is worth noting is that Edgerton does most of the singing in the movie, according to Bustle.com. His vocals are impressive, especially for people who are only familiar to him as Eggsy in the “Kingsman” series. The songs do not sound exactly like the Elton John versions, which helps the movie avoid sounding like a music video playlist.

Paramount Pictures / Entertainment Pictures / Alamy / Courtesy Photo
Taron Egerton as Elton John in a scene from from “Rocketman,” directed by Dexter Fletcher.

It is important to know that this movie closely resembles a musical in a lot of ways, which may annoy some people. “Rocketman” is dream-like, and this is established from the get-go. For example, time slows down or freezes, and Elton John is put in a trance. Characters often break out into songs and numbers. This makes the film surprisingly refreshing. It also dials up the energy level up a notch with montages of Elton John’s career, which are also done like a stage musical.

In the film, Elton John’s music is used as a way to show various points in his career. His fans can easily figure out which phase he was in just by the songs. The filmmakers also recreate some of his most iconic costumes. Whether it’s the sparkly baseball jersey or the colorful headdresses, the visual representations display the different landmarks of his life.

There is always a sense of liveliness in every scene, even in the more somber ones. Although the movie is 2 hours in length, the passion and fire of the film easily entrances the audience. Despite that, when “Rocketman” wants to make people feel empathy for the musician, it does the job really well.

As much as there are many great details about this movie, it suffers from some flaws. Though it is engaging, it has almost the same beats as “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even a montage which involves newspaper headlines look extremely similar to the one in the Queen biopic.

“Rocketman” is a tribute to Elton John, and it is perfect for his fans to enjoy. However, it can also entertain people who are simply looking for a great movie. It is a story that sings and returns people to a timeless era of music.