Taron Egerton- Elton John
Jamie Bell- Bernie Taupin
Richard Madden- John Reid
Egerton is Captain “Fantastic” in “Rocketman”, the new musical based on the life of Elton John.
Director Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) followed up his successful completion of Freddie Mercury’s life in the rock biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” with “Rocketman”, a musical based on the life of Reginald Dwight…better known as the musical genius Elton John!! Fletcher placed a familiar face in Taron Egerton in the lead as the flamboyant piano man Elton John! Egerton is flanked by Jamie Bell as his brother in music Bernie Taupin and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as Elton’s slimy manager John Reid.
I walked into Rocketman expecting another rock biopic, but was pleasantly surprised when young Reginald Dwight (Matthew Illesley) broke into a rendition of “The Bitch is Back” letting the crowd know this is a musical. Its amazing that young Reggie made it out with such a dysfunctional family with a mother, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is out with a different guy each night and Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) a military father that showed his child no love. Young Reggie sat down at the piano and played exactly what he heard on the radio prompting his grandma (Gemma Jones) to get him lessons that eventually ended him up at the London music conservatory. Dwight’s introduction at the scholl had the boy play a classical piece from hearing the instructor just playing it having her ask the prodigy “Why didn’t you finish it?” Reggie replied, “That’s where you stopped”. WOW!
Reggie began playing pubs in a band as a teen to the sounds of “Saturday Nights alright for Fighting” and “Crocodile Rock”. Reggie changed his name to Elton John when he met with the local recording company and was given lyrics to put music to. The lyrics were penned by Bernie Taupin, the man who would become Elton’s lifelong writing partner and brother in music. We are treated to “Your Song” and the “Border Song”. This is also when Elton met John Reid who slid in to become John’s manager and develop his persona with the shoes, glasses and outlandish outfits. Elton John was a hit and his next stop was AMERICA in Los Angeles to the songs “Take me to the Pilot”, “Tiny Dancer” and his famous duet with KiKi Dee “Don’t go Breaking My Heart”. The breathtaking moment comes with Elton’s famous glittering Dodgers uniform playing to a sold-out Dodger stadium with frans holding lighters that looked like a universe of stars in front of him!
Rocketman is a treat with a bonus having it be a musical. Taron Egerton is amazing in the role of Elton John and evens sings all the songs himself!! Bryce Dallas Howard as his slutty mother and Richard Madden as the slimy manager are perfect in the roles. My favorite performance beside Egerton, is Jaime Bell as Bernie Taupin. The brother Elton never had and his musical partner that was with him through good and the drinking, drugs and orgy ridden diva breakdowns that Elton would go through and take them out on Bernie, and he was still there writing songs like Rocketman, Tiny Dancer and Your Song. My only disappointment, and it is selfish, I would have liked to see (and hear) other songs like Levon, Candle in the wind, and my favorite Mona Lisas and Madhatters. I know the vast catalogue Elton John has and to hear most would have the film last 6 hours! LOL
Bottom line: Rocketman is an amazing musical and gives us a look behind the costumes on how Reginald Dwight became the great Elton John!
Flickanalysis: 4/5 Stars