Rocketman Takes Off
The term ‘jukebox musical’ has been around for decades, as well as the concept in which it is named. Musicals that celebrate the work and art of a particular musician are an amazing way to look at those musicians within a new perspective. They’re also generally just a delight to watch and, more often than not, to sing along to. The new jukebox musical-style biopic Rocketman, about the legendary Sir Elton Hercules John, is no exception.
Marvellous acting, fabulously iconic costumes coming back to life, and the reality-meets-fantasy retelling of a musical sensation’s story all meet to become a film that all can enjoy; whether you be veterened fan or newcomer. But as one can expect from a movie about someone inducted into the music hall of fame, what the movie truly excels in is the musical department.
As the movie is primarily a biopic, producer Giles Martin was tasked with finding a way to use Elton John’s music as a narrative tool, reimagining a number of songs to fit into the film’s story, and the hard work that must have gone into such a task shows. The 2001 single ‘I Want Love’ was reworked into a heart-breaking song sung between the four members of Reggie Dwight’s family, the 1974 ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ was transformed into a mesmerizing duet between Taron Egerton’s Elton and Celinde Schoenmaker’s Renate Blauel, and 1973 glam rock hit ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ was turned into a showstopping ensemble piece.
To add to the roster of spectacular songs stands a brand new Elton John and Bernie Taupin song ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’, which was written specifically for Rocketman. To top off all songs is Taron Egerton’s spectacular central performance, which was ambitiously chosen to use instead of the actor lip syncing to Elton’s original audio.
The film in its entirety it a very real-feeling experience that has the ability to make one want to laugh, cry, and dance in their seat all at once. It shows the realness that comes from being such a unique icon, while also combining the fun, mystical wonder that is Sir Elton Hercules John by combining fact with fantasy. All this and more, is wrapped up in the bow that is the classic rock music that helped define an era, resurging up to wow fans young and young-at-heart.