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REVIEW — “Rocketman”

Bohemian who?

Rocketman was directed by Dexter Fletcher, written by Lee Hall, and stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. It tells the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John. Now, there has been much made about this film in relation to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and while I could get into that, I’ll stick to the film itself, because there is, even more, to say about it. Rocketman is a dazzling spectacle with fantastic musical numbers and an even more fantastic performance from Taron Edgerton.

Dexter Fletcher directs the hell out of Rocketman. It is energetic, visceral, fantastical, and above all else a blast The musical sequences are incredible and you can tell Fletcher had a distinct and clear vision going into this. The highs that he is able to reach here are so impressive the only word I can describe them as is euphoric. The Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting number made me the happiest I’ve been in a theatre in a very long time. He is a force to be reckoned with behind the camera, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. The script, while not quite as quality as Fletcher’s directing, is very well done. While it does manage to fall into the trappings of the genre, it manages to do those conventions pretty well. Elton John’s issues with his father could have been very cliche and on the nose, but they’re able to do them in a more honest and subtle way. Rocketman manages to stay fresh and energetic in a genre that is largely dull and played out.

Taron Edgerton shines as Elton John and he deserves all the praise he’s getting. He truly deserves a nomination for this and I’m so happy to see where his career is going. I enjoyed him in Kingsman, but I never knew he had this in him. I can’t wait to see what he does next. Jamie Bell also does a great job here, and while his performance isn’t as large and showy as Edgerton, he holds his own and delivers an understated and emotionally resonate performance. The whole supporting cast does a great job and lucky this isn’t a case of the main performance being the only reason to see the film.

On a technical level, Rocketman is a delight. The cinematography is very well done and the musical sequences are dazzling. As previously mentioned, the Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting number is one of the best things I’ve seen in theaters in a while. The soundtrack is amazing for fans of Elton John, as well as casual viewers and provides a bunch of tracks I’ll be listening too for the foreseeable future. All in all, Rocketman is a home run. Everything is firing on all cylinders and there’s a huge heart to top it all off. It feels like everyone working on it was super passionate and wanted to make it the best it could be. It’s genuine and honest.

So, in short, Rocketman is a great time that I loved to the moon and back. 4/5

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