Fred 🇵🇷’s review published on Letterboxd:
Scavenger Hunt 50 - #22 - Watch a music-centric film
"You got to kill the person you were born to be in order to become the person you want to be."
First off, Happy Pride Month, y'all! 🌈
As far as music biopics go, Rocketman can count itself among the more successful of a vastly crowded field. This is majorly due to the magnificent performance at its center. Believe the hype: Taron Egerton is the definition of extraordinary, giving a career-defining performance. His command over Elton John's mannerisms and vocal style (the man can sing) results in an eerily spot-on reincarnation that, yes, deserves the highest of acting accolades. More than that though, he conveys a fragility and emotional mastery with even the subtlest of facial expressions. I know it's a cliché thing to say but I genuinely kept forgetting I was watching an actor and not the icon himself.
The music, as you'd expect, is also terrific here, with Egerton delivering every note with the savvy of a seasoned pro. While I think some of the song choices cast a manufactured feel over their corresponding scenes, I think the choice to make this a jukebox musical-style affair mostly works.
Dexter Fletcher's directing is more than competent and the writing features some surprisingly well-crafted moments. Still, there's something that frustratingly prevents this from being the best film it could be. If I were to take a guess, I'd say that the decision to cast a wide net over so many years of Elton's life too often errs close to Bohemian Rhapsody's deeply flawed approach, (one that I found to be all surface level) that often makes the pacing feel uneven. Thankfully, this is remedied by the inspired moments we get here and there.
I have no doubt Elton fans will love this movie. For this casual fan, it was a treat to behold, if nothing else than for a performance that I'm sure will hold its own in my all-time best of the best list.
If you only knew the amount of times I've gotten "I'm Still Standing" stuck in my head only to find myself humming it yet again as I write this. This time comes with a caveat though, as it's now Taron's voice rattling around in my mind.