‘Rocketman’ doesn’t shy away from brutal reality

Movie playing in CUB details Elton John’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of drugs, sex, earns its R rating



Taron Egerton plays Elton John in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

ROOS HELGESEN, Evergreen columnist

Do we really need a Bohemian Rhapsody remake playing in the CUB? That was my initial reaction to Rocketman’s trailer.

Can you blame me? Both Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody feature a famous British singer who rose to fame around the same time period.

Each deal with the rock n’ roll lifestyle of sex and drugs as well as the stars’ sexualities as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Boy was I wrong.

Dexter Fletcher, the director of Rocketman, did not shy away from portraying the harsh reality of Elton John’s life, like Bohemian Rhapsody’s director did.

Rocketman is rated R for a reason.

The movie combines fantasy with fact to create an immersive world that enhances the viewer’s experience.

Many scenes have Elton imagining things while playing, not on drug trips like most movies portray, but in moments of high elation. It drew me in.

Beware of much dancing and singing ahead. This is a biopic almost custom-made for a Broadway musical.

John, played by Taron Egerton, starts life as Reginald Dwight, an abused child and musical prodigy. Dwight created the persona of Sir Elton John, but over time became him.

The main staple of this film is the friendship between the star and his friend and lyricist Bernie Taupin, played by Jamie Bell.

When they meet you can see they have a sort of chemistry that translates into their song making.

Taupin was there through the drug trips and hardships John faced.

Taupin wrote the lyrics to many of Elton’s most famous songs but got very little acknowledgment for his work.

I believe their life can be summarized by this brief interaction in the film:

“I never thanked you Bernie,” John says in the movie.

“No. I love you, man. Always have, always will,” Taupin responds.

Their dynamic brings the film together.

Rocketman deserves just as many or more accolades than Bohemian Rhapsody. It is a beautiful reinterpretation of Elton John’s life that delves deep into the dark moments of his life.

Still, the fantastical elements and Broadway style are what set this movie apart and will help it become a classic.

Catch Rocketman presented by the SEB in the CUB auditorium from 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4-7 p.m. Sunday.

Trust me, you should rocket yourself over there.