We’ve all heard the name and the iconic songs of Elvis Presley. And with ideas in short supply, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood decided to release another biopic of the legendary star.
Elvis tests the difference between die-hard Elvis fans and the regular foot stomper on the street and the film will leave you shook depending on which one you classify yourself as.
If you live, breathe and eat anything that relates to the iconic singer, then you’ll fall head over heels for this film. But if you’re not a fan, you may find this film a little lacklustre.
Everyone was chanting the name “Elvis” when he rose to fame in 1956. However, his life has been marred by all the problems you would expect from a human under such an intense spotlight. Drugs, women and exploitation are just a few of the many things Elvis had to grapple with during his short life. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the King of Rock’s tumultuous story, then this film may leave you feeling as though it’s jumping from one plot point to the next.
Austin Butler plays the King himself and he does a fantastic job of portraying Elvis’ troubled life – from start to finish. You’ll also be surprised to know that Butler did all his own singing, an amazing feat when you contemplate just how similar the two stars sound. While the film does its best to portray the ups and downs of Elvis, I couldn’t help but feel that it lacked depth.
How did Elvis feel about finding fame and all the troubles that came with it? It felt as though they glossed right over so many moments that could have really added a bit of heart to the film. I do love that they touched on the initial villainization of Elvis and his “black moves,” but I would have loved for the film to do a deeper exploration of Elvis’ relationship with black culture.
However, many have noted just how well Elvis appeared to toe the line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, which is something the film attempts to explore but, again, doesn’t go into too much detail.
Elvis also features Oscar winner Tom Hanks who transforms himself to play Colonel Tom Parker. Parker was famous for bringing Elvis’ music to the masses, but he was also famous for working the star to death, especially in his final days.
While there are definitely interesting moments that will leave the average Elvis fan brimming from ear to ear, there are other moments that could have offered a great way for director Baz Luhrmann to take Elvis in a different direction. All-in-all, it’s worth the watch.
Watch the trailer below:
Picture: Warner Brothers