|Duration||2h 1m||Rating (UK)||15|
|Source of story||A riff on the life of Elton John|
|Starring||Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Steven Mackintosh, Stephen Graham,|
Elevator Pitch: Clad as a sort of surreal demon, Elton John crashes a therapy group, instead of, we later find, appearing at Madison Square Gardens, and recounts his life story to them. His talent as a pianist, composer and singer is enhanced by the wonderful lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, but success sets him on a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, eventually leading to a suicide attempt. But we know how it ends.
Content: Well, it did contain a homosexual coupling, quite famously redacted in Russia and other countries, but more importantly many of Eltons songs were presented, sometimes on stage and sometimes as components of a “musical” with various people singing and often with energetic dancing. We also spend time with the therapy group, in the offices of Elton’s original music promoter, in his house as a child and in his luxury houses as an adult.
A View: I really enjoyed most of the music, and could have quite easily listened to an hour or so more, although I’m not really one for the “breaking into song” operatic type of musical. Nearly everybody has liked it and it has made quite a bit of money so far (June 2019). For those of advanced years it will be a nostalgic experience, reminding us of the days when Yellow Brick Road was being broadcast daily. So if you are a youth maybe listen to a few tracks before deciding whether to go to a screeniing; if you are over fifty, find a screen and buy a ticket while it is still out there.
Additional Info: People have pointed out that the songs are not presented in chronological order or even at times when it would have been possible, since they had not been written. But we should not get hung up on the dramatic liberties that have been taken. It’s a film. Elton John and Bernie Taupin won Best Original Song at the 2020 Oscars.