Taron Egerton kindles a musical fireworks on free TV
On April 5th it will be loud on free TV: Taron Egerton takes you into the motley world of Sir Elton John in the musical biopic “Rocketman”.
If you are allowed to play someone like Sir Elton John (74), who has danced with death for decades and is still one of the biggest hit machines in the pop industry at the same time, the burden weighs heavily. For decades, the British entertainer has touched people to the core with his music. “Kingsman” climber Taron Egerton (31) dared to try in “Rocketman” in 2019 to bring a decisive phase of the pop icon’s life to the screen – and triumphed. On April 5th (8:15 p.m., ProSieben) the colorful biopic can finally be admired on free TV.
From Reginald Dwight to Elton John
Elton John (Taron Egerton) marches in a huge orange feather devil costume and horns studded with rhinestones through a corridor. In addition, triumphant sounds. What at first looks like the eccentric’s first appearance quickly turns out to be a walk towards the self-help group. From there, the pop icon recalls her botched childhood, subjugated by her loveless father (Steven Mackintosh), her breakthrough with companion Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell, 35) to the ultimate legend Elton John.
“My name is Elton Hercules John and I am an alcoholic, addicted to cocaine, addicted to sex, have bulimia and an obsession to shopping.” In the 1970s Elton John delivered one top seller after the other, but due to the constant pressure and constant drug use, his crashes were lined up more and more rapidly. The reason for this carousel: The desire to be loved as he is by his family and his first lover and manager John Reid (Richard Madden, 34) and actually everyone. As the somewhat chubby glasses wearer who loves to touch people with his songs.
A musical journey through time
No sooner have you got involved in the surprising scenery than Elton John’s greatest evergreens line up in a classic musical dramaturgy like a kind of musical pearl necklace. “I Want Love” becomes a desperate cry for love from Reginald Dwight, as Elton John’s maiden name is. The instrumental version of “Your Song” at home on the piano in the presence of Bernie Taupin marks the beginning of the Duo Infernale’s hit machine and after endless drama, disappointed love, drug abuse and a suicide attempt, “I’m Still” sounds like a defiant resurrection at the end Standing “.
Does “Rocketman” stand up to the Queen comparison?
A pop icon who conquered the world from England, a fragile eccentric who has a subscription to clinic visits, a coming-out and songs that move the world to this day: The comparison to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and its main character Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) suggests itself.
Even the director is the same: Dexter Fletcher (55, “Eddie the Eagle”) stepped in for “Bohemian Rhapsody” after Bryan Singer (55, “X-Men”) had to leave the set. The big difference is luck for Elton John as well as a little curse for the film: Elton John was involved as a producer – together with his husband David Furnish (58).
The problem that arises is that Elton John reports firsthand, but “Rocketman” comes to the therapy session mentioned at the beginning through somewhat transfigured sunglasses. In the final scene, John, cured by his demons, even gives himself a final reconciliation in a kind of fantasy sequence, surrounded by the characters of his life. Also part of the party is the still childish Reginald Dwight, whom drug-stricken Elton John hugs lovingly and thus makes peace with him – and himself. This may seem too exaggerated and exalted for some viewers, but it fits into the overall picture.
Honest dealings with the demons
On the other hand, the relaxed approach to his rather bumpy biography works very well. Where “Bohemian Rhapsody” was still badly softened by Freddy Mercury’s immense drug use and sexual encounters, Elton John lets look pretty deep in “Rocketman” and wraps the audience around their fingers. He is not afraid to show all excesses in his raw brutality. And the marriage and the divorce that followed a few years later with Renate Blauel (68) from Munich and the tricky liaison with manager John Reid are well told.
Haunting leading actor
The Brit sings all the songs in the film himself and manages to breathe a breath of fresh air into evergreens like “Crocodile Rock” and “Your Song”. How well Egerton manages this, including many fashionable derailments and queer character traits, is simply impressive. “Rocketman” is not a classic biopic, but a squeaky, kitschy, overflowing biography musical with a mixture of “La La Land”, “The boy needs some fresh air” and “Mamma Mia!”.
“Rocketman” celebrates the gay, glittering, pompous and never quiet pop icon Sir Elton John. With extravagant stage outfits, a charismatic leading actor and musical scenes that are entirely “over the top”, the film is a lot of fun. One can blame the film for the fact that, despite all the therapies and memoirs, one sees very little about the person Elton John. But maybe it has to be like this: a legend like Sir Elton John probably never takes off his sunglasses completely.