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“Rocketman”: rock ‘ n ‘ roll trip through the corridors of someone else’s soul

It seems that the era of musical biopics is beginning again in the film industry. But” Rocketman ” (Rocketman) has one huge difference from most of these pictures: the main character of this film is alive. Moreover, Elton John is a producer of a movie about himself, very deeply involved in its production.

Comparison with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which took a couple of Oscars last year, is inevitable — a very small gap has passed between the films, and the Director is the same. Dexter Fletcher took over Bryan singer’s chair, finished shooting “Rhapsody” at the end of the summer of 2018, and in September he took over “Rocketman”.And the first shots, to be honest, make you roll your eyes from self-repetition: the film begins with the passage of the main character in a stage costume along the corridor of the concert venue, flavored with slow-mo and a slightly slowed-down version of the rhythmic hit. But after half a minute everything falls into place and it becomes clear that it was not just a self — repetition-and a malicious laugh in the direction of another picture.It’s not “Rhapsody”. It’s much better. And the film is interesting even to those who are familiar with the work of Elton John only on “Believe”, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight “from” the Lion King” and “Saturday Night’s Alright”, included in one of the bloodiest scenes in the second “Kingsman”.

The main feature, the charm of “Rocketman” is that it was created by Elton John himself. Not those who were with him and, according to them, knew him like a flake. Not the people who worked with him. Not the people he slept with, but himself. This is not even an autobiographical story, some facts in it are distorted for the sake of entertainment on purpose. Rather, “Rocketman” feels like a heart-to-heart conversation. It’s like Elton John took, gathered everyone in the room, sat down on a chair, picked up the microphone and said, ” Well, now I’ll explain to you how I came to live such a life.” And to voice this monologue, he chooses his songs, putting the right tracks at the right moments. Yes, the era does not always coincide — but the theme is correct.”Rhapsody” is an outsider’s view. It’s an interpretation of Freddie mercury’s life by all those who had a hand in making the film. “Rocketman” is a look from the inside. It’s such a therapeutic introspection, full of irony and sarcasm, podyarchennyh for the show moments, becoming every second more and more open, honest, naked, sharp.

Not all stars love themselves so much that they shoot biographical musicals in their lifetime. With “Rocketman” history is not easy: for the first time about this film, Elton, with the filing of the spouse, thought ten years ago, but the work began to boil only recently. Taron Edgerton, who had sung a very motivating gorilla song in “beastly,” caught Elton’s attention. After working together in the second “Kingsman” Elton no one but Edgerton, in the role of his beloved did not see. In the film, by the way, Edgerton also performs songs himself, very successfully imitating the manner of Elton’s performance.
It is said that Elton, who saw the photo of the made-up Edgerton, thought it was some kind of archival picture. At the end of the film there is a traditional frame comparison with the reality, and it is quite possible to understand the shape of the face is different, of Teron cheeky, but the facial expressions are very expressive.

This is not just a biographical film about the musician, but a full-fledged musical. Musical numbers here are woven into the plot, and woven organically and seamlessly. For me, the whole movie felt like a tour of the backstreets of Elton John’s mind, and the transition from some plot points to musical numbers just because of this feeling did not seem ridiculous, because in the brain you can always suddenly jump out some surprisingly suitable song-and you just have to put up with it.
Against the background of the plot events, by the way, also play songs by Elton John — only in a revised version. Giles Martin’s slower instrumental arrangements blend perfectly with what’s happening on screen, complementing the actors ‘ acting and the cameramen’s work.

Yes, I want to praise not only Taron Edgerton, but also other performers. In role author texts songs Bernie Taupin, with which Elton John in principle began its career, proved soft, romantic Jamie bell, is famously conveyed and joy from rapid takeoff, and fatigue, and willingness be near, and seductive and svolochnogo Manager John reed played Richard Madden, and hardly anyone was able would show virtually sociopathic prudence so same well, as he. Bryce Dallas Howard is especially beautiful as Elton’s mother — selfish, distant, caustic and, it seems, not loving either little Reggie Dwight or adult Elton at all.
This trip through the corridors of someone else’s soul is striking in its rock and roll. What was missing in “Rhapsody” was the otvyaznosti, frenzy, the smoke of revelry. Elton same vividly entertained with teenage years — one of the first musical numbers under the contestant the most “Saturday Night’s Alright” amply shows, as need to pursue Saturday evening in British Outback. There is not a single moment in the film, which would have to be bored: it is all-a series of uninspired key events, then smoothly, then abruptly flowing into each other.

Brightness, pathos, grandiosity, all this wild scale inherent in superstars, an overdose of luxury and chic, madness of the seventies — this in “Rocketman” is more than enough. And all this tinsel is in its place. She-part of life individual, fused with him, and because looks so, as need to. Again, I think we should thank sir Elton, who understands that his life can not be crammed into the framework of the family rating PG-13. I’m not just talking about all sorts of parties, drugs, alcohol and other undesirable things for children’s viewing, no. I am now on the approach to the picture.
May and Taylor, who created “Rhapsody,” played in very safe territory, seemingly unconsciously contrasting themselves as exemplary family men with Freddie’s depraved lifestyle. In “Rocketman” there is no such artificial opposition, there is only a reality processed, reflexed by the main character with all conclusions.

Elton John has been a broken man since childhood. A disliked “introverted extrovert” who wanted to find his place in this life and his happiness, he is shown as a shy man, accustomed to keeping everything to himself, who puts on masks, one after another, with increasing popularity. And this whole movie is a breakdown of those masks. This confession to himself and to others, those who are close by.
Taron Edgerton in a red suit with horns and bright wings leads the viewer through the roller coaster of his character’s life, gradually throwing off both horns and wings, peeling off rhinestones and packing in a soft, homely Terry robe. There’s no point in him being anything anymore — in the end he just wants to be himself.The whole film is an attraction, fascinating even for those who are not interested in Elton John. The authors themselves call it “musical fantasy”, and this is perhaps one of the most correct definitions. In the narrative of real life there is a place and magic, and phantasmagoric hallucinations. It would seem that the film itself is full of cliches — and unsuccessful childhood, and no one to love, and career UPS and downs. But all of this is served easily, without a lot of slezovydelenii. And all this recatured extravaganza is woven into a very important conversation about finding a place in life, finding happiness, finding and accepting yourself.This is a good, bright, high-quality, interesting movie. In General, in it there is all the, what lacked ” Bohemian Rhapsody.”

P.S.: Opponents of liberal values will be glad — from the version for the Russian film distribution cut out all scenes with same-sex kisses, sex, and also corrected episodes with the use of drugs and changed the ending. If the original version before the credits says that Elton John is not just a teetotaler, but also finally found the love of his life and happily raises children with him, then in the Russian version of love is not a word — but the AIDS Foundation is mentioned. How this changes the meaning of the picture explained Mikhail Kozyrev in a post on Facebook. The filmmakers, of course, are also unhappy.

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