By Marc Woodfork
Taron Egerton stars in the epic journey portraying one of the biggest icons in music history, Elton John. The film begins when Elton is a young piano protege and carries us through all the highs and tumultuous lows that encompass his life and career. Maybe I can blame the marketing department, or whoever is in charge of promoting this film, but going into it, I along with many other audience members did not know it was a full-on musical. I thought it was a dramatic film with obvious “music scenes”, but not a musical in the Broadway sense.
After the initial shock of finding that out three minutes into the film, I settled in and enjoyed the ride. Firstly, Taron Egerton is remarkable as Elton John. I know there was some early consideration of Justin Timberlake playing the lead role, but Taron is fantastic. Not only does he look the part, he brings just the right flamboyance to the role that doesn’t look like he’s mocking Elton or patronizing him. Most people will know Taron from the “The Kingsman” films and after seeing this you will think “where did this guys talent come from.”
Most films of this genre follow a certain style and mode of storytelling, but what makes “Rocketman” very good is that it doesn’t follow the same codes. Visually the film is stunning. The choice of musical numbers are thoughtful and well executed. Equally as good as Taron is, the supporting cast is exceptional. As much as your interested in what Elton is living through, the support roles are just as intriguing. We know how Elton’s life pans out, but watching this you want to know how everyone else’s life turns out. The word musical has a way of turning off a group of movie-goers, but do not let that deter you from watching this film. Elton John fan or not, this film is interesting, fun, and well worth the price of admission.