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Taron Egerton gives an orbital performance as “Rocketman”, Elton John/Reginald Kenneth Dwight; throughout the film, bloated with schtick, gaudy displays of wealth, “sex, drugs, rock and roll” Egerton brilliantly, presciently maintains the aura of a wounded, pristinely fragile, insecure, unloved, little boy. Commencing  when John voluntarily enters a rehabilitation facility, and through a series of insightful flashbacks we visit and emotionally invest in his life: coldhearted, untouchable father (Steven Mackintosh), a “tartish”, unappreciative mother (Bryce Dallas Howard) a grandmother (Gemma Jones) wise enough to cater and recognize Reggie (marvelous Matthew Illesley) as a prodigy; fame engulfs him at twenty-three; no one can be prepared for idolatry, instantaneously smothering, unbridled, unrestricted worship at an age when life’s choices are undefined; Egerton is profound in his interpretation of John, dazzling, electrifying, stratospherically dynamic with every concert and ruptured lifestyle.

Director Dexter Fletcher (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and screenwriter Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”) parlay pass successes into a film, redolent with veracity, minimal sensationalism and enough “camp” typifying the musical scene of London’s 1970’s; Jamie Bell’s (“Billy Elliot”) depiction of Elton’s longtime friend and lyricist, Bernie Taupin sears with empathy and love for a man, flawed but beautiful. Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”, “Bodyguard”) as John’s masterfully, manipulative manager and lover, John Reid, with obsequious, Svengali orchestration, weaves his treacherous tentacles around Elton’s heart and wallet, resulting in a magnificently slimy portrayal.

“Rocketman” magnifies the inability of individuals incapable of accepting themselves, calluses and dimples, as they are; only with self-awareness can the threshold of insecurity be bested, allowing others an authentic portrait worthy of recognition, respect and love.





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  1. Marlene S Waller

    I would urge all to see “Rocketman”. It is a very good movie; much different from “Bohemian”; goes lots deeper.

  2. Barbara Geraghty

    Saw Rocketman yesterday. Wonderful movie, excellent in many ways. Particularly enjoyed the scene early on when he makes his debut at The Troubadour and within moments completely owns the crowd assembled there. Loved hearing his music and seeing the way he turned them instantly into fans that night. Still, while I enjoyed it, I think you’re right, Peneflix, about Malek.

  3. No question about Rami but found this an interesting movie that was more in depth to the life of the star who had emerged as a living icon in his own right. He also fought his demons and seems to be happy!

  4. I saw both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. I agree Rocketman did a good job trying to analyze Elton John, both through his lifestyle and group therapy sessions. I came away with good sense of Elton’s insecurities from his early childhood to his rise to success with the help of Bernie Taupin, his song writer. However, if I had to choose between the two movies, Bohemian Rapsody, would get my vote. It’s a film that also explored the early days of Freddy Mercury, who, as a child of immigrants, used his voice to propel himself forward, as both lead singer and piano player for the rock group, Queen. The audience had a fairly good grasp of Freddy’s internal struggles with his sexuality, his success and his eventual death form AIDS.

    Both Elton and Freddy were around the same age and excellent stage performers. What gave Bohemian Rhapsody the advantage for me was the ability of the producers and editors to seamlessly weave live Queen performances into the film to a point where you felt you were actually there along side the band. The team success was rewarded with Oscars for sound editing, sound mixing and film editing. I thoroughly enjoyed both films and your reviews, Peneflix.

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