Reliving the life of a rock legend

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Reliving the life of a rock legend

Photo by Paramount Pictures

Photo by Paramount Pictures

Photo by Paramount Pictures

Morgan Boll

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The captivating fantasy musical Rocketman directed by Dexter Fletcher came to theaters May 31. The biopic explores the remarkable life of classic rock star Sir Elton John (Taron Egerton). It focuses on many of John’s past addictions and on his struggle identifying with his homosexuality. It shows his transition from Reginald Kenneth Dwight to Elton John, his stage name.

The movie begins with John walking into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in one of his outrageous outfits and glasses. An alcoholic. A cocaine addict. A sex addict. A shopping addict. Bulimic. Anger issues. This scene was interesting and captured the audience’s attention for what was to come.

The movie continues and goes back to the beginning when John first played the piano living in London. He was a natural and advanced to the Royal Academy of Music on a scholarship.

He received support and encouragement from his grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones) and later meets his longtime songwriter and best friend Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Together, they made iconic songs: “Rocket Man,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Bennie and the Jets.” Their chemistry was incredible; John was able to look at the song once and already have a melody in his head.

The vocals were phenomenal, and it was so shocking to hear that Egerton sang the songs himself rather than just lip syncing. Watching Egerton perform as John amazed both myself and WHS junior Ana Fowler, who said, “As someone who is not necessarily a fan of Elton John but has a casual recognition of and appreciation for his music, I really enjoyed it.”

The movie did not disappoint. Watching him start off as a shy kid to become a crazy rock star performer is unbelievable. Egerton did an amazing job acting and looking just like John with the gap in his teeth, and the way he walked and played piano.

Despite the fame and money, the movie portrayed a different side of John and detailed his struggles: being rejected romantically, having insecurities about his weight and hair loss, attempting suicide, and reuniting with his father who left when he was a child. The acting in these scenes was on point, as his mental breakdowns and anger fits were extremely realistic. After having a breakdown before performing at Madison Square Garden, John ends up in the AA meeting that opened the movie.

The musical received positive reviews and earned a score of 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie portrayed many important highs and lows of John’s life and did a fantastic job depicting that ride.