Ever since the days of sitting with me old mum on the sofa watching those famous Rogers & Hammerstein Musicals such as South Pacific, Carousel, etc I have always been a sucker for a music film - be it Musical or Music Documentary. So I have been looking forward to seeing Rocketman for quite some time.
But anyone expecting the linear format of last year's hit Bohemian Rhapsody will be disappointed.
Directed by Brit Dexter Fletcher, who was credited with saving Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman is more closely related to touchstones such as Baz Luhrmann, Tommy and those old Musicals I mentioned earlier. It probably needed a Brit who understands the sense of Camp that that the film MUST contain in order to tell a story of one of Britain's National Treasures. If this movie doesn't end up as a Stage Musical, I'll eat my Cornetto.
With Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Rocketman is really Taron Egerton's movie. And as Elton he is splendid. It follows Elton's story from where he is a kid in Pinner.
I won't spoil it by revealing the tracks - you can always look up the soundtrack if you're so inclined but suffice to say we have a great mixture of uptempo and slow classics.
The film concentrates on the important episodes in Elton's life.
In this case, songs are often heard out of chronological order to highlight an emotion or incident. And there are plenty of them. They are often incorporated to Set Pieces designed to show their importance to the story and are rather Theatrical in presentation, which is why, when you see it, you'll see what I mean about it converting to a Stage Musical.
Anyone who has seen the Elton documentary Tantrums & Tiaras will have an insight in what to expect. And although it's a glosssy and technicolour experience - it does contain the dark as well as the light.
It's difficult to mention individual incidents without giving too much away although anyone who has dug a bit deeper into Elton's story will know about his first American gig at The Troubadour which is one of the highlights of the film.
What to leave in and what to leave out must have been one hell of a headache for the scriptwriters but Fletcher has used what he was presnted and given us some memorable visuals to accompany the fantastic music contained within.
And a special mention here for the musical presentation.
All vocals were done by Taron Egerton himself (and various cast members) and he has done a great job in interpreting some of Elton's finest songs.
Another excellent feature of the music is the lovely orchestral versions of the songs that form the basis of the film's score when the songs are not being sung.
The movie ends with the reunited Elton & Bernie for the Too Low For Zero album. I've always thought that it was an excellent album and is a genuine artistic and commercial comeback. It also contains one of my favourite Elton songs - not included in the movie.
Cold As Christmas
Did I learn anything new about Elton or Bernie, No but all in all a great night of music contained within an entertaining film. If you like Elton, you'll probably like Rocketman. You won't learn anything new about Elton or Bernie - but that's probably not the point.