From the moment I saw the first trailer for Rocketman, I knew I had to see this film in theaters. In my heart, I knew this biopic would be magical. My expectations were beyond high as I entered the theater. The film did not disappoint. By the time we left, I felt beyond energized. Elton John immediately put on in the car. The words I wanted to say about the film started to race through my mind with urgency. One word came to mind. One term has remained with me since. Perfection.
Rocketman is unlike any biopic any of us have ever viewed. Rocketman is a revolutionary biopic that allows us an inside glimpse at a legendary singer’s struggles throughout his life. We learn of a man’s life we have witnessed over the decades. We see the heartache we never wanted one of our favorite singers to endure. More importantly, we gain an understanding of one of the most vital lines in the film. We understand Elton’s reasoning for “killing” Reginald to become the man he would become. We have to change in life to become more than what we were before. However, our true selves are always in there somewhere.
Our abilities always shine through in the moments’ people need us the most or need a reminder that we are worthy of more. Rocketman not only takes us on a journey of Elton John’s life but does so in the sense of a traditional musical. We learn of his life through the very lyrics he has sung for decades. We understand the relationship between him and Bernie even more so than before. So much so– by the end of the film, my imgaination would not allow me to ponder what would have happened if they did not meet.
The film reminds us all that, in so many ways, we are all alike. We all want love. That is what makes hearing the lyrics of “I Want Love” through four different characters so poetic. In many ways, these songs are Elton’s life, which is the point of the film. While the songs do not go in chronological order, we discover the highs and the lows of a man’s life that we wish were nothing but delights. As fans, we want this for him because we want to take away his pain the way he has for us. We want to give him what his relationship with Bernie has given us throughout the years. We want love; we want joy.
Everyone plays their parts well, but Taron Egerton is phenomenal. His portrayal of John is nothing short of spectacular. From the moment we are introduced to him within the feature until the end, we are mesmerized. In a larger-than-life world of fantasy blended with the musical genre, Egerton brings to life a musician in a larger than life why while rooting him down in normalcy. He must be a contender for the best lead actor category. I cannot imagine him not getting a nomination this upcoming Oscar season. In truth, if this film does not garner multiple nominations, something is painfully wrong with the system.
Viewers can note the same about supporting actors within the feature. Everyone deserves some praise in this film. Jamie Bell. Richard Madden. Bryce Dallas Howard. Gemma Jones. Each of them allowed us to glimpse into Elton’s life and learn who truly cared and who did not. Knowing the roles that each of them plays, audiences feel that proverbial punch in the gut as we sit in awe as we begin to process the words spoken to him. Words we cannot fathom spoken to him, let alone the people who brought them life.
The film does not shy away from the storylines we expect Hollywood to either. Paramount did not limit or discourage the truth behind John’s life. Instead of merely cutting away from implied sex scenes, viewers are subject to the actual scenes. His alcoholism nor drug use are not an afterthought. One’s life is that—their life. In a society where we shy away from inclusion, equality for all and want to brush over the complex topics, Rocketman makes us watch. Some might ask why, but ultimately the film plays out the way it should. True to life.
As far as biopics go, Rocketman is by far one of my absolute favorites. I already want to view the film at least one more time before it leaves theaters. Owning the film when it comes out on Blu-ray is not optional either. I want to stay on Elton John’s journey as long as he will let us. The best part about Rocketman is that the film allows us to continue moving forward with John and his music for a long, long time to come.