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Baz Luhrmann Brings Elvis Back to Life

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Elvis movie

Image by Capital Dudes from Pixabay 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann seems to have done what fans have been hoping for years; to bring The King back to life. Well, on the big screen anyway. In his epic spectacle from Warner Bros, Luhrmann explores the early life and music of Elvis Presley with Austin Butler in the lead role. Between the two of them, Butler and Luhrmann seem to prove the conspiracy theorists and die-hard fans right. Elvis is alive and living in, well, living anywhere that The Elvis Sighting Society reports him living. It was even said that he was living with aliens.

Following his death on August 16th, 1977, speculation grew that Elvis might not have died at all. Despite doctors' and coroners' statements, disbelievers were adamant that he had faked his own death and gone into hiding.  Elvis impersonators sprung up all around the world to confuse things further. In Las Vegas, it became possible to be married by "Elvis' at The Little Vegas Chapel.  WMS Gaming has made two video slots featuring his music, Elvis Lives, and Elvis the King Lives, which can be played at any number of UK slot sites, including Duelz Casino.

The Elvis the film portrays is the young singer finding his way to stardom. This is a thoroughly cinematic drama, as anyone who follows Luhrmann's films would expect. It is seen through the prism of the complex relationship with his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker. Tom Hanks plays Parker. Parker's narrative viewpoint covers the complicated relationship between the two men for over twenty years. The film tells the story of Presley's rise to fame and unparalleled stardom. It is also a story about the loss of innocence and changes to the cultural landscape of America that unfolds simultaneously.

The movie tells how the American dream bonds the two men.  It also does not shy away from depicting the demons that plague both of them. It portrays the story of their relationship falling apart.  However, it does not feature other key hustlers who existed in Presley's career. There is little about record label bosses, publishers, or the movie moguls who pulled the strings.

Olivia DeJonge plays Priscilla Presley, one of the most significant and influential people in the young singer's life. Eventually, Priscilla walks away from the marriage due to his infidelities and dependence on pills. We see his euphoric fans who follow him everywhere, but the film does not feature his later girlfriends like Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden.

What really brings Elvis back to life is Austin Butler's performance. The thirty-year-old American actor beat Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort to the role. Luhrmann chose an actor over a singer to portray The King. Butler's looks and natural southern voice make him a natural dead-ringer for Elvis. Previously, he appeared in films like Quentin Tarantino's, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. However, for the role of Elvis, he had to develop his singing voice to nail the performance.

He worked with a vocal coach for a year before filming started as he wanted to get his voice to be identical to Elvis's. So, what the audience hears is actually Austin Butler's voice. Snippets of the real Elvis were blended in later. Butler says that he watched hours of videos of Elvis performing on stage and in movies and concerts to perfect the singing style, voice, and characteristic moves.

Butler is reported as saying that he felt such a responsibility to Elvis, his family, and fans to nail the performance. The result is a suspension of disbelief as the King is brought back to life before our eyes.

Baz Luhrmann decided to blend Butler's voice with that of Elvis to portray his tone more accurately as the star ages in the film. He used tapes of Elvis in his midlife to get a match for the older man's vocal tone.

The result is genius. The King is brought back to life, even if only for a few hours.