Rocketman: A Summary and Review

Whether you’re 16 or 60 you’ve probably heard at least one of Elton John’s many hits. In the new film Rocketman, we get a deeper look into some of what was involved in the creation of some of these hits as well as what shaped Elton John into the performer he is today. Warning, there will be lots of spoilers in this article so if you’re not ready for that go watch the movie and then come back!

The film opens up as Elton John is checking himself into a rehab center because of his addiction problems. He admits to struggling with drugs, alcohol, mental health issues as well as having several other problems that he’s ready to get help with. We then get a glimpse into his childhood as a young Reginald Dwight (Elton’s real name) discovers his talents in singing and playing the piano. The film shows us some of the emotional challenges that Elton faced as a child having two parents who weren’t very supportive. We learn that his father had a difficult time showing affection and his mother simply seemed to regret motherhood. Fortunately, he had a loving grandmother who nurtured his creativity when his parents failed to do so.

As Elton becomes a young man we see the process of his rise to fame. From playing in small hole-in-the-wall bars to becoming the backup players for other singers we see Elton and his bandmates slow progression in the music industry. Eventually, Elton decides to try and sign with a Dick James and his record label. He’s seen by his future manager Ray Williams and is introduced to lyricist Bernie Taupin. Bernie and Elton hit it off right away and begin creating wonderful music together. Ray introduces the pair to Dick James who while initially very signs them and kick starts their career.

The young rockstar and his lyricist are sent to America to begin building a name for themselves which is quickly done with the new and amazing sounds they bring to the table. Elton John soon becomes a sensation and his life is turned upside down. Having to create a new persona that’s as big and bright as the future he wants he begins to lose himself in the world of stardom. Elton begins to be manipulated by his new manager and partner John Reid. He begins to feel lost and turns to more substance abuse to make the wild journey feel more bearable. Unfortunately, nothing he tries seems to help and he turns to suicide. The attempt on his life failed and Elton is faced with more struggles as he eventually decides to take charge of his life and check into the rehab center we see the film open up with. In the rehab center, we watch as Elton finally realizes that he was searching so hard for things to make him happy and feel loved when he really needed to learn to love himself.

Now that the summary is out of the way here is my opinion on the film. Rocketman takes a different approach to the rockstar biopic than other films like Bohemian Rhapsody. Rocketman seems to bring the famous songs of Elton John to life in a brand new way. There’s so much energy and life in each song it takes almost everything in you to simply stay in your seat and not jump up to join in on the dancing. The way that they brought the story to life was absolutely amazing, it was like a hybrid of a biopic and a musical with bits of a drama and romance thrown in as well. That being said I really enjoyed the movie. It’s a great summer film to catch with a couple of fellow music fans. It’s definitely geared towards a more mature audience though so be sure to leave the kids at home. Overall Rocketman is a great film about self-discovery, self-love, overcoming addictions, a climb to success and rock n’ roll!

Via Giphy