Baz Lurhmann birthed a masterpiece named Elvis. Lurhmann was the writer, director, and producer of this maximalist movie. No other man could’ve done it better than himself. Choosing Austin Butler to play the lead role of Elvis Presley is a top-tier move on his part.
Elvis is a biographical movie that covers the good years as well as the tragic ones, including the death of the legendary singer who was only 42 at the time of his death. The movie covers the way he was exploited and burnt out but his legacy continues with his music famous to date.
Austin Butler’s acting as Elvis was absolutely stunning. I believe he deserves an award for portraying the iconic singer. He showed more than 20 years of Elvis’ life covering the 50s, 60s, and 70s - childhood to his rise to stardom and then the long, slow decline. Butler gives an Elvis impersonation that many have failed to do before. His acting is beautiful and absurd, at certain angles in the movie, he looks a lot like Presley. Apart from Austin Butler, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Harry Styles auditioned for the part too.
The movie is from the perspective of Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. From Tom Hanks' eyes, we see the rise and fall of the King of Rock. I loved the perspective it took and how the bad stories and horrible acts were revealed as the movie went on. It needed an unsympathetic character to display the ins and outs of Presley’s rise to the top and his downfall.
The movie modified and created a number of fictional events that served their purpose. I would have preferred them raw and exactly the same as before. Baz, being a maximalist, added to the plot and put together some scenes that weren’t there before. For example, the emotional meeting of Presley and Producer Steve Binder of the 1968 Christmas comeback show never happened in real life. However, all the added scenes were accurate and smoothened the plot, for sure.
Baz, however, shows a little too much showmanship. The movie Elvis demands a certain kind of subtlety along with its flamboyance. Baz managed to capture the show biz perfectly but the shy-er elements of life were overlooked.
In my opinion, the narration of Tom Parker led to the Colonel getting far more attraction and attention than Elvis himself. It was almost like the Colonel was put on a pedestal like a broken hero. He was no hero but the movie made it seem like the plot revolved around him rather than Elvis. It was quite disheartening as I thought Presley’s perspective would have been a better choice. Granted, the Colonel’s point of view was a much more individualistic approach but with Presley’s, it could’ve had a greater box office.
All in all, I absolutely loved the movie despite its quirks and narrative techniques. It was a stunning movie that deserves awards for all its features - from dialogues to theatrical scenes. Elvis Presley couldn’t have been remembered better than this.
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