Time for another KENNY MORSE FILM REVIEW:
No slight to Rami Malek, but THIS is the film that Bohemian Rhapsody SHOULD have been. Ok....they didn't have the resources/budget...just the talent, but in ROCKETMAN.....Taron Egerton has done the same as I wrote about Renée Zellweger in "Judy"......transform the screen into a portal and time machine you CAN believe in and do the job an actor is hired to do, only in such a stellar fashion, that it defies even your hope and dreams for a transcendent performance. Like I said about Renée, Taron will most certainly get an Oscar nomination (among others) and probably win many awards....and he should. And so should Director Dexter Fletcher and writer Lee Hall. They managed to tell this story via the songs themselves, so that they would provide a context to his life, and our understanding of all he went thru to become, like Judy, one of the biggest superstars of the 20th Century....and, unlike Judy, still going.
But to just act and brilliantly is one skill set, to be able to do it and dance and perform at a stadium level....well....it is extraordinary. Like in "Judy," Taron sang using his own voice, but unlike Renée, Taron, when he sings, COMPLETELY evokes the unique and quirky vocals of Elton, so whereas Renée used her own voice to deepen the acting...which she DID, Taron used it to COMPLETE it....not just deepen it. VERY different and VERY successful.
When I talk to young people (when I am in mentor mode) and ask them what they want to be when they grow up, far too often the answer is "Rich & Famous"....and I usually tell them to try to forget about all that....and just "DO YOU"....be the unique talent that they are, and then watch what you wish you wish for.....because you MIGHT get it....and ALL that comes with it....good and bad. I remember the night I had that conversation with my ol friend Adam Lambert, but he had already had YEARS of experience and ups and downs in the biz when he told me he was leaving "Wicked" to go in "Idol"....and we had "the talk" (especially since, by that time....I was working on American Idol and admonished him to forget he ever told me, because I was NOT supposed to know that "officially").
One day....there will be a movie about Adam like there is about Elton.....of this I have been pretty certain, but until then.....ROCKETMAN...will make you sing, laugh, cry and be joyous that such film making is being done to make the world a better place....and BOY....does the world need to be a better place NOW! And also to remember that Elton John has done SO much good IN the world for others, that celebrating his life is beyond deserving.
Because I was a kid actor, special mention to the kid actor who plays Elton (Reginald)....MATTHEW ILLESLEY. At 9 years old, this is what we call "an old soul" because it is astounding that such a young talent can make you feel he knows the emotions of a fully formed adult. Bravo kid. I'll be watching out for your success. Bravo.