Dexter Fletcher has created a colorful, jaw-dropping, out of this world portrait of the man who greatly revolutionized modern music as we know it. Rocketman combines elements of an outstanding cast, incredible performances, and an overall unique vision that not only does Elton John justice, but also leaves its mark as a true cinematic gem.
Any Elton John fan knows him as a flamboyant dresser and an innovative performer, but the biggest surprise of the film is when he’s introduced in the middle of his career as none of those things. We see Elton (played by Taron Egerton) as a participant in a group therapy session telling the story of how he ended up in a rehab facility. Beginning with his childhood and his complicated relationship with his parents, the film follows his incredible rise and emotional downfall of stardom.
This is a movie that also takes an artistic transcendence of reality that really engages you in some of the most emotional scenes of the film. For instance, the scene where Elton is sinking to the bottom of his own pool, he has a vision of his younger self sitting at a piano at the bottom of the pool in an astronaut suit singing “Rocketman.” This is the version of himself who wanted nothing more but to be great, the version of himself that had so many hopes and dreams he wouldn’t anything or anyone bring him down. He reflects on his life about how much he has changed since then.
Overall, I think the film was nearly flawless. It would be easier for me to say what the film could’ve potentially done wrong more than what it actually did. I was a little skeptical of Taron Egerton actually singing Elton John’s songs compared to Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody who lip synced Queen’s music. Because Elton John has such a unique and complex sound to his voice, Egerton could’ve lost major points on playing the role for not sounding authentic enough to convince the audience he completely embodied Elton John. Fortunately, Egerton did an amazing job playing the singer, and I don’t think anyone else could’ve done a better performance.
Rocketman is not simply a biopic about a famous singer; it is a heartwarming, tear-jerking story about a gay man coming to terms with his past and finally giving himself permission to accept himself for who he is. It is a worthwhile piece of cinema and, in my opinion, one of the best films of the year.