Past the various controversies, the success of Rocketman is almost a miracle. Criticism on the representation of gay, censorship of a sex scene, the quasi-director of the draft Bohemian Rhapsody at the bar… The biopic of Elton John was not produced under the best of auspices. And yet, the press seems to have been conquered by the film of Dexter Fletcher, in the aftermath of his screening out of competition at the Cannes film Festival this Thursday, 16 may.
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The meeting, in the world premiere of the film in the Palais des Festivals ended with four minutes of applause, that have not left Sir Elton John feeling indifferent. A few tears later, the icon of the british pop has performed two of her hits at the piano on the beach in cannes. ” I’m Still Standing first of all – including the clip of 1983 had been shot… at Cannes – as well as Rocket Man , a duet with Taron Egerton, her interpreter in the film.
Elton John, accompanied by her husband, the canadian producer David Furnish, leaves moved by the projection of Rocketman in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP
A Taron Egerton as the press drowns under the praise. Emilie Miller of Télé Loisirs considers that “the costumes of the pop star seem to have been created for” actor of 29 years, “inhabited by this character”. To push the interpretation of Elton John as far as possible, Egerton has taken piano lessons, and singing. Enough piano to be credible, even if he is not playing actually in the movie, and enough of the song to interpret it without the play-back of all the tubes of the star british himself. He gives “all his voice, and his whole person to elevate the artist to the rank of a myth,” noted Mathilde Cesbron for The Point . The reporter judge Egerton also talented in the interpretations extravagant that in the moments of release and emotion. The actor is so convincing that”at times, one has the impression of seeing Elton John,” says Laëtitia Forhan for Allociné .
The inevitable comparison with Bohemian Rhapsody
For the journalist, the film director Dexter Fletcher “has managed not to sanitize the life of this gay icon, while remaining general public”. A difficult challenge, especially in comparison with the inevitable Bohemian Rhapsody , of which Fletcher had done the last three weeks of shooting after the return of Bryan Singer. Laëtitia Forhan considers that ” Rocketman is stronger,” the biopic of Freddie Mercury. In The Hollywood Reporter in addition to-Atlantic, David Rooney draws a parallel between the “rescue,” by Fletcher, ” Bohemian Rhapsody after the erratic behavior of Bryan Singer, which could derail the movie,” and Rocketman , which “delivers a vision far more impressionistic of the manufactures of the myths of rock ‘n’ roll”.
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This vision has a lot to do with the way Dexter Fletcher “plays on overdose, filmed with frenzy and without respite from the excesses of the singer, the psychedelic concert, the parties, the sex, the luxury and the relations fusionnelles, but often toxic, that the superstar has with his relatives,” according to Mathilde Cesbron of the Point . David Rooney reports that the film is “a succession of fantasies music surréellement stylish, fabulously entertaining but leaves too rarely the place to a fabric in dramatic and substantial that can create a real emotional engagement with the protagonist”. An opinion that is shared by Mathilde Cesbron, for which the film “plays finally the old song rather conventional “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”.
Magic music and the psychedelic sweet
Thus, the moment the most pleasing of the film for The Hollywood Reporter is “the legendary first concert of the american singer at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1970, where Elton John, a 23-year-old, overcomes her stage fright fuelled by the presence of luminaries of the music (Neil Diamond, Leon Russell, and the half of the Beach Boys) and raised literally the crowd with Crocodile Rock , his own boots leaving the ground as his fingers continue to pound the piano keys”. The kind of scenes psychedelic and quasi-magical that are the strength of the film, combining the emotion and grandiosity.
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Side the United Kingdom, where the biopic about the child in the country is heavily scrutinized, Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian summarizes Rocketman “a hybrid biopic-rich-in-sugar/comedy-music-for-jukebox, that sometimes gives the impression of having to occur on the scenes of Broadway or London’s West End, it probably will”. If success is at the rendezvous for the film, an adaptation on the boards is very possible.