Rocketman Gloriously Magical, Brutally Real

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Rocketman Bluray

In terms of sheer visual spectacle, ROCKETMAN is without peer. Brilliantly mixing magical metaphor with raw reality, this film straddles the boundaries between musical and biopic.

From the very first scene and the very first note, ROCKETMAN is riveting. The film opens with the adult Elton John (played superbly by TARON EGERTON) strutting into an addiction support group in full sequined regalia. It doesn't feel like it could be real, and it's the most subtle part of the film, as it's used as a storytelling device throughout the movie. As we progress, we return to this device, each time with more of the costuming stripped away--a metaphor for deconstructing the mythical Elton John and getting down to the man himself.

We are quickly introduced to the family of young Elton -- or, rather, young Reggie (MATTHEW ILLESLEY), before he took on his stage identity. Despite a distant father and an apathetic mother, the young boy exhibits an immediate affinity for the piano. Taking lessons, he is recommended for a scholarship to an exclusive music program, where -- in Mozart-like fashion -- he plays a complex piece of classical music by ear and from memory. At this stage of the film, Reggie is nos in his teens, played exquisitely by KIT CONNOR.

It's tempting to go through the film point-by-point and explain the how and why every scene was so phantasmagorical, or so soul-wrenching. And truly, as high as the high moments take you -- the impossible lift of Elton's debut at the Troubador -- the lows will leave you heartsick. That the show is, ultimately, one of triumph, makes ROCKETMAN a modern fairy tale of the best kind: a true one.

This Blu-ray / DVD / Digital release comes with a unique special feature: a booklet written by Elton John himself providing some personal insight into his life beyond what the film covers.

Of course, the musical scenes all feature classic Elton John tunes, set to match the moment in tone and action, and each one is a magical memory in and of itself. This isn't just a film you will rewatch--this is a film you will rewind to watch special scenes.

Extremely highly recommended.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0