It’s a poor showing in regards to character creation, but other than that Rocketman will absolutely fulfil its purpose
Dexter Fletcher, the long time British actor turned director, has at times, seemed uninspiring in his film making ability. He seems to understand the views and needs of the masses, but struggles to convert that into features with any genuine meaning or underlying power. His actual impact on Bohemian Rhapsody after taking over from Bryan Singer may not be known for some time, but the film is absolutely about pleasing as many as possible, perhaps leaving much of the truth, or the way the events genuinely played, out on the cutting room floor.
And Rocketman, a complete Fletcher production, largely follows the same principles and themes as Bohemian Rhapsody, yet it manages to push through a more reflective look at the life of Elton John, rather than the closed-minded version of Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody pushed. Buy and large, this is down to a wonderful performance from Taron Egerton, but there is also a much larger appreciation for who Elton John actually is, not just what the public would have seen at the time.
Yet the film’s major flaw falls on the creation of its story, or rather the lack of coherent character development, offering snippets of John’s life, rather than the chain of events leading to his stage and life persona. There’s a lack of moments that stand out as character changing, instead leaving most of the heavy lifting off screen.
There also seems to be a fight within the picture as to how Elton John should be represented, posing him in multiple lights, unable to decide exactly how he should be represented. At times, Rocketman is obsessed with showing how otherworldly and magical the man is, whilst simultaneously posing the idea that he is just a normal man under the surface. This leaves the film to distinctly fail in mixing the two together to complete his profile, coming across as an unconnected set of personality traits. At no point does Rocketman allow for the character lines to be blurred, posing them as individual and unconnected personas.
Despite this, Rocketman does work as both a biopic and as a musical, in a fairly inventive format. There’s clearly an attempt to open the film to sing-a-long viewings further down the line, and it’s construction is based completely around pleasing the masses, as Dexter Fletcher’s work seems to always choose to do. It’s a poor showing in regards to character creation, but other than that Rocketman will absolutely fulfil its purpose, just with little else extra added on.
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