Elvis Movie Review
This ain’t no nostalgia show. We’re gonna do something different (Elvis presley voice). We hope you can start to imagine he’s voice here as you read :)).
Baz Luhrmann Narrative For Elvis Movie
Baz Luhrmann Elvis film tells the tale of the king of rock and roll at the speed of light. Jittery and alive with pure strength as young presley himself became whilst he takes the stage again in the 1950’s and gyrate the crowd right into a frenzy. There are instances when that is truly the best approach even with some superb emissions from his life story. There is lots portrayed in the movie.
Firstly, Luhrmann’s film would have benefited from catching it’s breath more than it does. Secondly, the inconsistency and occasionally troubled pacing, is what prevents elvis movie for reaching the dizzying heights it’s striving for. This heartfelt take, makes it clear why Elvis’s contribution to american pop culture remains so long lasting and important.
Arguably, at the center of it all, is a star making oscar worthy performance by Austin Butler. He captures presley’s voice and mannerisms so well even if his resemblance to him varies at times. His nuanced human portrayal captures the lip curling elements one expects to see from Elvis while also revealing the passionate dreamer and ultimately broken soul inside.
Entry Point To the Movie
It must be noted that elvis himself isn’t the entry point to his own movie. Elvis film is largely a two hander between presley and a prosthetics laden Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks as his long time manager. This story begins and sort of ends with parker, a shifty con man with mysterious past whose hold on Elvis is the main subject of scrutiny.
How did this slovenly carnival barker get his work so deeply into one of the biggest stars in the twentieth century. Notably, why did elvis stay with him even when he wanted him gone so that his career could soar even higher.
There are several answers explored here but the colonel’s ability to snow people fully on display as he manipulates elvis’s emotions and desire to never return to the poverty from which he came. While his bond villain worthy accent grows weary some hanks excels at playing this conniving character out to achieve his own american dream. Even when Elvis wins by defying the colonel’s wishes. He ultimately loses and that’s the tragedy at the heart of Baz Luhrmann, Elvis.
These movie spans a few decades Luhrmann steers his film like a mystery train that could derail at any moment. Thankfully, it doesn’t with that breakneck speed doesn’t leave much time to emotionally take stock of certain major events. Such as the death of Elvis’s beloved mother gladys the greatest tragedy of his life.
Characters Engulfed Within
Outside of elvis and the colonel, most of the other characters even elvis his wife priscilla our thinly sketched. The artist element of elvis has often been glossed over in the many biopics made about him. While even more of that would have been appreciated here. Luhrmann’s instincts prove right and showing the influence music in general had on elvis and what it truly meant for him as a form of expression.
More specifically Luhrmann film gets black artists contribution to american music and to elvis himself a far greater role in they have ever had before in any prior biopic about him. Luhrmann’s film which was produced with consent from the presley’s state is certainly operating as a response to the long and widely held view. Simply put that elvis stole black music and profited from it without ever acknowledging his influences.
Luhrmann takes pains to show elvis his upbringing as a poor white kid living among poor african americans in tupelo mississippi. Also noted that, black juke joints and gospel music revivals hooked him at a tender age. If anything, elvis the movie almost over correct in its attempts to every frame elvis with in the era of the civil rights movement you would think he marched with doctor king but he didn’t.
Although, Elvis’s drug usage is hinted at early on. It’s not until later in the film when his place as a long-standing vegas attraction has been sealed like a tomb that we see elvis the tv set shooting lyric slurring hot head emerge.
Scenes of the colonel in Elvis’s personal physician doing whatever it takes to make sure he stays on tour and taking the stage and vegas ultimately prove heartbreaking.
Downward Spiral Of The Hero
Elvis seems resigned to his sad fate. His dreams of a fuller life in and better career shattered.
Baz Luhrmann elvis is a dizzying and at times even overwhelming chronicle of the rock icon. Austin Butler is stellar as elvis, giving it his absolute all in every scene. Truly a star is born here. Tom Hanks cleverly plays against type as the manipulative and greedy colonel parker.
A huckster who lucked into being the manager of what he saw as the greatest carnival freak show ever. While the supporting cast isn’t given as many dimensions as they could have been in say a tv miniseries. Luhrmann tells presley story on a grand scale suited only for the big screen.
Delivering an epic yet intimate maelstrom of emotions, music ideas and eye candy. The film’s breathless pacing made to fit the fever lifestyle of a rock star. But it can also rush through necessary moments of dramatic reflection. Baz Luhrmann elvis is a wild ride clearly made with a big hunk of love for it’s subject. The zeal for capturing presley’s humanity both by it’s director and it’s star outweighs the film’s excesses and shortcomings in the end.