Elvis – Brilliant
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner (Screenplay) Baz Luhrmann, Jeremy Doner (Story)
Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Kelvin Harris Jr, David Wenham, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Luke Bracey
Plot: From his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock ‘n roll star and changes the world with his music.
Runtime: 2 Hours 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Elvis starts as Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks) is facing his fate, looking back on his career. The Colonel found Elvis (Butler) while managing a country singer. Seeing him as a man that could draw a crowd and make money off.
As Elvis starts performing, his career skyrockets. Fans flock to see him, but he gains his haters too. Demand forces him to tame his act or face punishment. The Colonel making every decision for him, leads to the trapped environment Elvis finds himself in. seeing how the once superstar has been grounded from what made his so special.
Thoughts on Elvis
Elvis is the iconic singer we know from history. Seeing his journey from being raised in a black neighbourhood. Learning to love the music around him and performing. Showing of his talent to the world, becoming the biggest star in the industry. What we learn is that he was never in complete control. He wanted to perform a certain way and the government tried to stop him. Forcing him to tone down his movements, the same movements that got the crowd roaring his name. Seeing the world, he gets trapped in, for his desire to perform and his manager’s power over him.
Colonel Tom Parker is the carnival attraction who discovered Elvis. Taking him to new heights, using his sound to grab the audience. Turning him into a marketing machine, that controlled everything in his life. His addictions will make his career a nightmare, forcing him into using Elvis as a cash machine. The way his conducts business, will see Elvis confined to America, worried he will lose his cash cow. He is telling the story, looking back on his life. Believing he has nothing to do with what happened to Elvis.
In the supporting cast, we get Priscilla, Elvis’s wife. Someone that saw him differently, but sadly doesn’t get enough screen time to this story. We have the loyal friends that support his career. The people that try to break him out of the management. Most importantly we see his inspirations. The artists from Beale Street, back home where he was raised.
Austin Butler is amazing in his movie. He comes to life as the charismatic performer, both on stage and off it. If you are going to be looking at an early contender for best performance of the year. Look no further than here.
Tom Hanks is the ever-brilliant actor, taking this role to the heights. Often leaving me wonder if he did get someone to single ‘Here comes Santa Claus’.
The story follows the career of Elvis Presley. From his early days supporting country singers, to right to his tragic death as an icon. The story shows us how he grabbed the world’s attention, break down barriers. Had the government against him, despite only singer what he loved. He helped bring another sound to the forefront of music. One that people didn’t want to see succeed. We also see how his manager tried to control him, forcing him into certain decisions. Ones that will define his career.
The career of this singer is one that I never knew too much. Seeing how everything unfolded in his career, leave you seeing the tragedy behind it. Despite helping change the views on music for a generation. The journey we follow could easily be compared to ‘Rocketman’. Seeing the manager taking control of a superstar’s career. It will make you sick seeing how the man acted around Elvis. Leaving you wonder how the career could have gone.
There are a couple of points that could have been added. With not enough focus on the marriage. We could have also seen more about his film career. Pointing out how much was going on, without giving us enough time to focus on what was great or not.
Elvis is a musical biographical about Elvis Presley. Diving through the career, seeing the performances that caused a stir. The big hits are played out and seeing where the inspiration came from helped us understand his unique ability. Each performance will feel as magical as it would have been to see live. Learning how the two meet only defines how corrupt the partnership was.
Final Thoughts – Elvis is a magical musical, where Austin Butler becomes a megastar.