Between Rock’n’Roll and Musical

Rocketman (2019)

Biographical Muscial Film


Throughout the years, several celebrated biopics were made like “The Doors”, “Ray” or “Walk The Line”. And topics like treason and friendship can be found in those like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, that not only because of it’s production time is mainly compared with this one.

Elton John just went on “Farewell Yellow Brick Road”-tour, which made a stop at the Wiener Stadthalle. In the nineties, he toured with Billy Joel as well, but the movie “Rocketman” starts the story with his childhood. That was embossed by a cold relation to his father and his dream of playing music.

When applying for a studentship, he learns Mozart after the first time hearing. From his mother, he gets an Elvis Presley vinyl, and in musical-like scenes including a nice pub setting, the viewer learns about his adolescence. From the pub times in Bluesology, the young Reginald Kenneth Dwight goes on his first tours and learns he has to kill his old self. From then on, he names himself Elton John.

In Bernie Taupin, he finds his best friend and partner, who in an beautiful scene hands him the lyrics for “Your Song”, for which Elton then creates the melody. They then travel the first time overseas, where at first the stage fright is huge, playing in front of idols like Neil Diamond, Leon Russel and The Beach Boys. But the gig is a huge success, due to an immense performance amongst other reasons.

The whole story Elton tells in therapy. Within short time, he gets famous and a millionaire. Right before a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, he tells his mother on the phone, that he is gay. A serious scene, that is loosen up by the facial expression of a great Taron Egerton. At the zenith of his success we hear “Pinball Wizard” from “Tommy”, right before the big fall.

There are too many hits of Elton John to fit into two hours. But the movie manages to bring in a lot, and to paint a great picture of the life of a legend, without getting too much a Musical. And during the credits, you can compare the amazing costume work to original photos.