Believe the hype…
The Elton John biopic should be heading to a digital and disc release in early September 2019 for those who missed its big screen release.
For those of you who are looking to compare it to the other music biopic of the last 12 months, Bohemian Rhapsody, forget it.
They are chalk and cheese.
Where they deviate is this is an unashamed musical in the old school sense. Every choreographed moment of what is a fairly warts and all treatment of Reg, sorry, Elton’s lifein show business is set brilliantly to his and Bernie Taupins songs.
From the opening with Elton strutting, bedecked with wings, into an AA meeting, to his closing as the nations favourite homosexual father, lead Taron Egerton is a fairly believable Elton John, although by the end, he does look a lot like Phil Collins…His voice is stretched at times, but he does a passable Elton vocally.
The whole tale is wonderfully backed up by an ensemble cast that includes the woefully under appreciated Stephen Mackintosh, Bryce Dallas Howard and Richard Madden as Elton’s manager (and sometime lover) John Reid.
One thing, Bryce Dallas is only 8 years older than Taron Egerton, and whilst this is OK when she’s mum to the young Reg, as time goes on, it does become fairly obvious they are closer to brother and sister than mother and son.
The songs are used so creatively as to weave a narrative across the years that lead Elton into sobriety out of the self inflicted drink and drugs fuelled singer of the 70’s.
On the whole, his story is dealt with sympathetically, as you would expect when the main thrust of the film is also its producer, but not so sympathetically that you don’t at points dislike the man.
It’s one of the most original biopics I’ve seen. Yes, it misses out the Lion King and Candle in the wind, but you do get a whole host of songs, imaginatively reimagined for the big screen.
It truly is a pleasure to sit and watch this film. It swings between the lows and highs of his life, and doesn’t shy away from anything.
If you can still catch it on a big screen, do. If you’re willing to wait, so be it, but when you finally do watch it, you will end up after 2 hours smiling with unadulterated joy.