This film lives up to what one might expect from a biopic about Elton John, although if you are expecting a drama like Bohemian Rhapsody, don’t! This is a musical plain and simple.
Almost from the opening there is a song and dance number which, admittedly, kinda took me right out of the film, especially because of dramatic lead in regarding his family dynamic.
Elton had, what has become an increasingly normal family situation, that is dispassionate parents (mom having checked out a while back and Dad, being military, not being around too much), where mom and dad only speak to each other if they have to. His saving grace, however, is his grandmother who is the only really affection one in the house.
It is discovered early on the Elton is a musical prodigy being able to learn don’t on the piano just from hearing them played. Her is given lessons which ends him up at a totally academy for music. The movie shifts direction again when young Elton finds his mom having an affair, and when I can expect say “finds” I mean he LITERALLY found his mom in the front seat of a car fooling around with another man. This was definite turning point for Elton as his father takes this opportunity to leave in a vocal fashion with his mother remaining as indifferent as always.
After the dust settles he warms up to his mom’s new fella, even to the point where he take the opportunity for a new haircut.
His music career really starts to take off as he starts playing small venues which leads to him running into his dearest friend and songwriting colleague Bernie.
The film does go into his early years of playing backwater clubs and does this somewhat in the form of a music number (all of the music numbers are set to his music, of course), however his team up with Bernie become legendary as they become inseparable. Ben Bernie and Elton they write hit after hit after hit.
Don’t get me wrong, the film is not all sugar and plumage, they do go into the darker side of him struggling with his identity, drug use, abusive relationships, and struggling in the business. Which does bring up a necessary note. That brings up the point that there is a rather bawdy love-making scene. Now before anyone gets in an uproar, I personally don’t like overt sex scenes in any movie. I think they’re completely unnecessary and can be shot a myriad of different ways.
I did appreciate how they kept to the times, traveling through his career which spanned many decades. As I said previously I’m not a big fan of musicals oh, so the fact that they were so many musical numbers in film took me out of the film on many occasions, however I do understand why they were put there, and why the film was shot that way. Elton John is entirely musical.
It’s in his blood, it’s in his bones, it’s in his soul so it does make sense that they make a film that shows that in a typical Elton John fashion. I can say this that the audience definitely loved it, so if you’re into musicals and want to see kind of a fantastical rendition of his history then I can recommend this phone.