Elvis (2022) :
Movie Review -
Director Baz Luhrmann has teamed up with Austin Butler and Tom Hanks to tell the dramatic life story of one of the greatest singers ever to perform on stage. The musical biographical drama takes you to the Elvis Presley era and leaves you spellbound with his memories. Dubbed as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling solo music artist of all time. The man has inspired many, entertained millions, and has been loved by even more people. He deserved a biopic befitting his stature, and we can only thank Luhrmann for providing him with an expedient tribute in the form of this film. Elvis will not only entertain you, but it will also leave you mesmerised over Presley's memories. If you're a fan of Elvis Presley (who's not?), then make sure you catch this great musical show in cinemas near you.
The film chronicles the life and career of singer and actor Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), from his early days as a child to becoming a rock and roll star and movie star, as well as his complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). It also showcases his family life, including his married life with wife Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge). Elvis was a controversial figure in the media due to racial issues in America. His sexually provocative wiggling and over-energized interpretations made him popular among female audiences, but they also brought him a lot of criticism from political and extreme Americanized socialists. Baz Luhrmann and Jeremy Doner's writing takes care of all things to present you with a spicy story which fits into mainstream cinema's template. Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce add fantastic support to the writing duo in this screenplay, which is damn too long (almost 160 minutes), but never tedious.
The first and most important department in the biographical dramas is the acting unit. Everyone has to look like the real characters and should be comfortable with the transformations. What Austin Butler does on screen is nothing but Magic! Without any doubt, Mr. Butler, Elvis is your best performance so far and will remain one of the best and most memorable ones when you retire. Every frame, expression, and dance step he makes will remind you of Elvis Presley. He is that close. Supporting him is none other than one of the best actors of his generation, Mr. Tom Hanks. I don't know why, but I kind of liked this idea that Elvis's story is told by a sort of antagonist and not the protagonist. Hanks has got quite a changeover in his looks and voice for this character, and he is just superb. Elvis's parents are played by Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh, and they have a few good scenes. Olivia DeJonge looks gorgeous as his wife, though her performance doesn't show up over the heavy make-up (even though that was mandatory).
The second and third most important things about a biopic are production design and technical aspects. Elvis looks lavish though, but it has a few glitches that appear in the beginning with the art design. However, the technical aspects recover the loss, and how! The music is foot-tapping, and so is the background score. You can't expect anything less in this department, and Elliott Wheeler gives you just what you want. Mandy Walker moves the camera smartly and captures many great frames. The editing boosts the final impact with colour and B & W, mixed transitions, and footage-like scenes.
Bazz Luhrmann has been a very picky man when it comes to directing films. He hasn't directed a handful of movies. He did a countable and a couple of them are really good. His last work was "The Great Gatsby". Well, that was almost a decade ago. That's his best work to date, and may remain so, but Elvis is very close to Gatsby. Now, does that make it clear to you? Yes, Elvis is almost as close to The Great Gatsby as it gets, and it's more authentic, in spite of missing many controversial and infamous events from Presley's life. Luhrmann's sense of cinema is vivid and neat, and that's what I like about him. 8 years of research and he makes a worthy biopic of a music legend, not for himself, but for us. For fans. So, don't miss it. Elvis Presley fans just can't miss it. But even the ones who don't know much about him but want to know, can't miss it. Thank you, Elvis Presley, for providing us with music that we will never forget, and thank you, Baz Luhrmann, for providing a fulfilling cinematic gratitude to the King of Rock and Roll. When words are too difficult to say, sing them. So, let's all sing together with him.
RATING - 7/10*
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