Sir Elton Hercules John is one of the music industry’s top-grossing artists.
He’s the voice behind several household classics, including “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” and “Tiny Dancer;” it’s only fair that Elton’s life story is turned evergreen into a mega motion picture.
The hall of fame inductee has sold upwards of 300 million records (and counting.) Elton took 1970’s rock and roll fashion to never-before-seen heights, setting a new standard for onstage performances made for the big screen. He truly captured hearts of many throughout his career.
Throughout his rise to stardom, there’s no doubt that Elton John made jaws drop with iconic costumes. He boldly served sequins, feathers, glasses and the most outrageous of patterns. This breed of flashy style was nearly unheard of on a male in Elton’s day and age. He paved the way for generations to come.
A personal favorite that was remade into Rocketman is his Dodger’s look. On October 25 and 26 of 1975, Elton rocked Los Angeles with two sold-out shows in the DTLA stadium. There had only ever been one other musical gig at Dodger Stadium prior: The Beatles.
It’s a musical.
It’s hard to go into this film without comparing it to last autumn’s Bohemian Rhapsody. While each given film is historically powerful in it’s own way, there’s one outlying cinemagraphic difference between the two; Rocketman is a full blown musical. The supporting roles in Rocketman bust out in Elton’s lyrics to add emphasis on emotion-ridden moments. A lot of his hit songs serve as a background soundtrack, rather than their individual production holding an accurate explanation.
With the above being said, there are inaccurate hiccups along the course of the film’s timeline. Older generation fans might notice more chronological inaccuracies throughout the chronological blooming of his fame, for example “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” has its feature later in the plot than it was actually produced.
“I didn’t have to be a slave to the chronology of when the songs were written or what they got written about, I just used them like in a musical, in that way,” director Dexter Fletcher explained in an interview with Thrillist. “And the more I exploited that opportunity, the more fantasy elements came into it, the more I would find things like ‘I Want Love,’ which happens in this sort of domestic family home, or ‘Saturday Night’s Alright,’ or ‘Rocketman’ at the bottom of the swimming pool, the Troubadour sequence. They’re all flights of memory and feelings rather than fact.”
Mental turmoil faced by musicians
The unfortunately true silver lining of Rocketman’s theme goes deeper than Elton’s success; here we have a visual representation of the darker side of limelight. The film went deeper than surface level, making it aware that Elton’s lifestyle was dangerously lavish. Coming from a low-income, broken family to the center of an international spotlight can make an individual feel invincible.The combination of money and an adrenaline-rushing performance career often leads to drug use as an artist’s anxiety-coping method.
Several scenes in Rocketman show how Elton struggled with this, and the toll it took on his personal relationships. We’ve seen it time and time again from Ozzy Osbourne to Kurt Cobain… and all the way to modern-day Avicii and Mac Miller. There’s a trend that hasn’t seemed to fade as we advance in technological media.
The positive evolution of the LGBTQ community
Opening day of Rocketman marked the entrance of June: LGBTQ Pride Month.
The festivals, parades and overall community built around LGBTQ didn’t exist before my generation. For god’s sake, there are still several countries to date that haven’t legalized gay marriage.
At moments in Rocketman, viewers see the way Elton struggled with the media’s and his mother’s stress on his sexuality. Such distress stuck with him for years to come. The evolution into acceptance has been a genuinely beautiful transformation of society. It’s a blessing we’ve progressed to accept love in all forms, to accept it enough to tell moving stories featuring same-sex relationships in theaters.
If you have a free evening to enjoy Rocketman on the big screen, it makes a great experience for any music lover!