Rocketman (2019)

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A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.

It’s pretty safe to assume that everybody knows Elton John.  He’s a household name, right?  Even if you don’t like his music, you know more than a handful of his songs.  That’s a surefire sign of a pretty successful career.

You might not know Reggie Dwight though, and that’s where Rocketman steps on to give you the backstory.

Queens Biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, was hugely successful, and quite likely helped a new generation to discover the bands music.  Rocketman is also a biopic, but with a very different spin.  Here we have a very broken Elton John telling the story of his rise, fall and subsequent re-invention through a series of therapy sessions.

Played perfectly by Taron Egerton, of Kingsman fame, Rocketman pulls no punches in painting Elton John as a very troubled human being, rattled by substance abuse, his sexuality, mental health and life in the spotlight.  These often troubling sequences are broken up by very entertaining moments of absolute fantasy and marvellous musical segments.

Beginning with his childhood, we follow Reggie Dwight from his earliest days as a piano prodigy, through his discovery of Elvis Presley and rock n roll, his transformation into the Elton John persona, the beginnings of his life long collaboration with song writer Bernie Taupin, his first gig right up until his massive world wide success, and eventual breakdown.

Rocketman is extremely entertaining, and will be enjoyed by fans of Elton’s music, and non-fans alike.

9/10

Review by Rick Trewin.

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