“Rocketman” is a musical biopic on singer songwriter, Elton John, and is directed by Dexter Fletcher, an actor who has appeared on TV shows such as “Band of Brothers” as well as films like “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels”, “The Bounty”, “Doom” & “Kick-Ass”. As a director, he previously did “Eddie The Eagle” & being brought in to finish principle photography on “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The film stars Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Jamie Bell & Bryce Dallas Howard. The film began development in the early 2000s but its initial announcement in 2013. Under Focus Features, Michael Gracey was attached to direct and then Tom Hardy was set to star but both left the project in 2014 due to creative differences. In 2018, Paramount took over the project from Focus & bringing Fletcher & Egerton to complete the film. Elton John himself also join the production as executive producer while his husband, David Furnish produced the film through their own production company, Rocket Pictures.
Reginald Dwight grew up in 1950’s Great Britain, where he became a piano prodigy at The Royal Academy of Music. His parents split up after his mother, Sheila (Howard) is caught having an affair. Depressed, Reginald continued his pursuit in music, joining a band known as Bluesology & even opening up for major American Soul acts like The Isley Brothers & Patte LeBelle. Inspired by Ronald Isley, Reginald goes the song writing route to garner attention as a solo artist and soon changes his name to Elton John (Egerton). Elton gets hired by DJM Records and their owner, Dick James and manger Ray Williams. Elton then meets Bernie Taupin (Bell), another songwriter, and together began writing songs for Elton himself. After the success of their first hit song, “Your Song”, a famous music career, from highest of high and the lowest of lows, for one of the most influential artists and musicians of all time begins.
Coming off the success and backstage drama of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Dexter Fletcher tackles another musician’s story and goes the full distance. Taking a radical departure from previous biopics, Fletcher takes a musical approach to Elton John and uses his own songs to tell the story. Taron Egerton was gave a spectacular performance as Elton. In fact, rather dubbing his voice, Egerton actually sings with his own voice and completely nails it. The rest of cast are great, storyline was good. The film does change some the real life aspects to better service the film but doesn’t take any thing away from the film. This film also has similarities to “Straight Outta Compton”, with the artist also serving a producers. While some biopic are tell a basic story like “All Eyes on Me” or “Notorious”, others have a first hand storytelling producer like “Bohemian Rhapsody” & “Straight Outta Compton”.
Overall, this was a great movie but I feel as if cause of the director, I can’t help but seeing multiple comparisons to his previous film. While there is a huge difference in music, these movies tell vastly different story but in a similar way. My personal opinion, I think the Elton John performance out did Freddie Mercury due to the simple fact of one movie being about a band and the other about a major solo artist.