The story Reginald Kenneth Dwight, a.k.a. Elton Hercules John, is one of music, addiction, loneliness, and forgiveness. ‘Rocketman’ brings all these things together in the rock opera biopic of my dreams.
I wasn’t going to bring up ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but I’m going to do it once. If they had made the Queen biopic with the same creativity that they made ‘Rocketman’, then ‘Bohemian Rhapsody would have been worthy of that Oscar nomination for best picture. ‘Rocketman’ uses Elton John’s body of work to turn what could have been a boring, formulaic film into a musical you can sing along with. It has all the energy and glitter John brings to his shows, as well as the sadness that comes with fame and addiction.
Taron Egerton is thoroughly convincing. He and Elton John share a kinship offscreen and it shows onscreen in ever facet of the actors performance. The film shows Elton John’s parents as distant and cold, never giving their son the love Elton so desperately desires. The feeling of being unloved follows Elton into adulthood, causing him to turn to alcohol and drugs to dull the pain. Through all of this, Bernie Taupin is the unwavering friend with whom Elton has collaborated on more than 30 albums with.
The film ends where it began. In rehab. Elton overcomes his demons, finally finds the love he so longed for, and continues to make the music that sells out auditoriums around the world. The movie is worth seeing even if you aren’t an Elton John fan. An eccentric man deserves a well made eccentric biopic. And Taron Egerton is truly a sight to behold.