An inventive musical, with biopic elements woven in, Rocketman is a pure delight. Arriving on Blu-ray tomorrow, courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution, the film offers plenty to enjoy regardless of whether one is a fan of Elton John’s music.
Picking up just as Elton John (Taron Egerton) enters an addiction rehabilitation centre, Dexter Fletcher’s film explores how a childhood musical prodigy named Reginald Dwight (Matthew Illesley) grew up to be the iconic rock star. Raised in a household where his mother Shelia (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Royal Air Force serving father Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) did not display love for each other, or him for that matter in Stanley’s case, Reginald found solace in music at an early age.
While the Royal Academy of Music refined his natural ability on the piano, it was his time playing in a backup band for touring American soul groups that planted the seeds for Reginald’s career aspirations. Taking the moniker Elton John, his dreams starting trending towards reality when he met and befriended songwriter Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Proving to be a dynamic duo, Taupin’s words and John’s combination of vocals and melodies, their combined talents led them to the famed Troubadour night club in Los Angeles where Elton John’s legend was born after a series of memorable performances.
However, addiction and the manipulation of his manager (Richard Madden) threatened to derail his career at its height.
Feeling more akin to Moulin Rouge! than Walk the Line, Rocketman is a refreshingly confident retelling of the key moment’s in Elton John’s life. At no point does the film feel like a series of set ups designed to get you to the next hit song. The thrilling musical numbers are well-placed and never take away from the emotional beats. Taron Egerton is sensational as the rock legend. He embodies the bravado and vulnerability that makes both Elton John and his music so iconic.
In the Blu-ray featurettes “Becoming Elton John: Taron’s Transformation” and “Music Reimagined: The studio Sessions” viewers get to see the challenges, including doing his own singing, that Egerton endured in becoming Elton John on screen. While John himself sits down with Egerton to discuss his original vision for the film in “It’s Going to be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision”, fans who simply want to sing-along with his classic tunes, or relive their favourite muscle numbers, have the option to do so on the disc as well.
A wonderfully imaginative crowd-pleaser, Rocketman is a magical experience that is as vivacious and fearless as Elton John himself.
Bonus Features: Extended Musical Numbers, Deleted and Extended Scenes, It’s Going to be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision, Becoming Elton John: Taron’s Transformation, Larger than Life: Production Design & Costuming, Full Tilt: Staging the Musical Numbers, Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions, Rocketman Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with Select Songs, Rocketman Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music.