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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Rocketman is moving, fun, and just so Elton John, says Rashid Irani

The film traces how a shy piano prodigy named Reginald Dwight became the flamboyant showman, rock star and gay icon. Taron Egerton as Elton is outstanding.

movie-reviews Updated: May 31, 2019 17:54 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
In the film’s boldest conceit, some of Elton’s most exultant tunes, including ‘I want love’ to ‘Candle in the wind’ and ‘I’m still standing’, have their contexts touchingly reimagined as they make their way into the narrative.
In the film’s boldest conceit, some of Elton’s most exultant tunes, including ‘I want love’ to ‘Candle in the wind’ and ‘I’m still standing’, have their contexts touchingly reimagined as they make their way into the narrative. (Paramount Pictures)
         
Rocketman
  • Direction: Dexter Fletcher
  • Actors: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell
  • Rating: 4/5

Close on the heels of the smash-hit Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, here’s another mega-musical extravaganza about a British rock star and gay icon, Elton John.

Aptly described as a “true-life fantasy” by director Dexter Fletcher (also the un-credited director of Bohemian Rhapsody), Rocketman charts the formative years of the music-man’s career.

Born Reginald Dwight, the shy young piano prodigy changed his name to Elton Hercules John and made himself over as a flamboyant showman with a penchant for outlandish outfits — from jackets, hats and shoes each in a different vivid colour to his trademark, eye-popping spectacles (that often matched the jacket!).

The film tracks how his rise to stardom was aided by his lifelong friend and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Elton’s turbulent romantic relationship with his manager John Reid (Richard Madden) is rendered with no-holds-barred honesty. A whirl of sex, drugs and fractious family dynamics ensues.

In the film’s boldest conceit, some of Elton’s most exultant tunes, including ‘I want love’ to ‘Candle in the wind’ and ‘I’m still standing’, have their contexts touchingly reimagined as they make their way into the narrative.

Taron Egerton’s insouciance is augmented by the show-stopping flair of his song renditions. The choreography is dazzling. Simply put, Rocketman is a rockin’ romp. Boogie on.

First Published: May 31, 2019 17:54 IST

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