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The music behind the feathers and sequins

June 19, 2019

It’s inevitable for “Rocketman” to be compared to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Both are biopics of legendary musicians: “Rocketman” covers the life and career of Elton John (born Reginald Dwight); “Bohemian Rhapsody” is about Freddy Mercury (formerly Farrokh Bulsara).

While Bryan Singer got directorial credit for the film, the person who worked on the reshoots and ended up finishing “Bohemian Rhapsody” was Dexter Fletcher, who directed “Rocketman.”

However, the liberties “Bohemian Rhapsody” took with the story and timeline are less obvious compared to “Rocketman,” which is classified on one entertainment website as musical and a fantasy.

There are song and dance numbers in outlandish scenarios, punctuating the stylized story of a man who has contributed immensely to music and pop culture in the last 50 years. It captures his longing for love from his parents and from a partner.

Yet the movie also recognizes the incredible amount of love, tenderness and support he got from his grandmother, Ivy, and puts a spotlight on the deep friendship he had with his songwriting partner of these last 50 years, Bernie Taupin.

Elton John’s stage presence and love of flamboyant and crazy outfits, costumes, spectacles (it seems such a let down to call them glasses) and headgear really made his audience take notice but it was also great to remember the other immense talent behind those hits.

Taron Egerton (right) and Jamie Bell play the legendary tandem of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Taron Egerton and Jamie Bell play John and Taupin in their heyday — but then again with such successful careers and lives, I keep thinking, it is still their heyday. Can you imagine, it was just a matter of Elton John being handed that one lyricist’s (Taupin’s) envelope at Liberty Records in 1967 that brought them together? One was a musical genius who could not put words to his music, the other a brilliant and prolific poet.

Haven’t we all heard “Your Song” many times we could sing along with it in the film?

“Rocketman” features an abundance of (but still not all) of Elton and Bernie’s hits and classics like: “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (a duet with Kiki Dee),” “”Bennie and the Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “I’m Still Standing,” and many, many more.

“Rocketman” is colorful and celebratory, with a few moments of drama here and there. One other difference with “Bohemian Rhapsody” is that Elton John is still around to produce his big studio biopic with the help of his husband’s studio, “Rocket Pictures.” The film stars Taron Egerton of Kingsmen fame. It’s worth nothing, that in the 2017 sequel “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle,” Elton John actually plays himself in a totally hilarious scenario.

If you want to be dazzled and be reminded of the great music both Elton and Bernie turned out for the world, this one’s for you.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net


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