Categories: Reviews

Elvis review: Austin Butler’s coronation

Here is our review of Elvis, the film by Baz Luhrmann that tells the rise and fall of the King of Rock, played by a great Austin Butler

TITLE: Elvis. GENDER: biopic, musicale. COUNTRY: USA, Australia. REGIA: Baz Luhrmann. CAST: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Natasha Basset, David Wenham, Kelvin Harrison Jr. DURATION: 159 minutes. PRODUCTION: Bazmark Films, Roadshow Entertainment, The Jackal Group, Whalerock Industries. ITALIAN DISTRIBUTION: Warner Bros. EXIT: June 22nd.

One of the greatest icons of the 20th century, who certainly did not need this film to ascend to the Olympus of music and beyond. Elvis from Baz Luhrmann it is the umpteenth celebration of the life of a man who with his voice marked an important period in recent American and world history. To interpret the King of Rock we find Austin Butler, who engages in the most difficult role of his young career and makes it his own in an excellent way. Next to him we find Tom Hanks in the role of the superb and profiteer Colonel Parker, narrator of the story. Let’s go into the Elvis reviewstarting from the trailer of the film.

The plot | Elvis review

The story starts with the discovery of Elvis (Austin Butler) by Colonel Parker (Tom Hanks), in an imaginative reinterpretation by Luhrmann (there are several within the film). We are in 1956 and Presley is currently under contract with Sun Records and is already enjoying a lot of success among young people. however, it will be the Colonel who will give him the opportunity to make himself known by thousands of people, thanks to a tour where thanks to his voice and his ‘sways’ conquers the public, especially that one female. The film goes from the story of the early Elvis, rebellious and explosive, to the Elvis actor in the 60s, up to his last years, turbulent and marked by addiction. In between we observe the relationship with the family, in which her mother (Helen Thomson) retained a leading role before her untimely death, and with his wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge).

A slap-up biopic | Elvis review

Baz Luhrmann had a mountain in front of him. He is not the first to try to tell the myth of the King of Rock and anything could happen. Austin Butler’s choice turned out to be one winning move, with the young actor putting his all into the performance, singing all the songs featured in the film. His magnetic gaze, his way of speaking and moving make him the right interpreter of Elvis and a serious contender for several nominations for Best Actor Hero in the next awards season. Tom Hanks as the Colonel also conveys a lot of conflicting emotions, forming an ambiguous character, just as she had been in life. The relationship he establishes with Elvis moves into a gray area, leading the two to separate several times, and then always meet again. Baz Luhrmann divides the story into sealed sections, with the three phases of the protagonist’s career well defined. Come here sacrificed the final part, that of the ’70s, despite the 159 minutes of film that should have been enough to tell everything. Not bad, because the story extends above all to the first phase of his careerin which the rebellious Elvis and idol of crowds emerges, who on the big screen and with Butler’s interpretation is truly unmissable.

Baz Luhrmann and his shining world | Elvis review

We should be used to it by now, yet every time it comes as a surprise. Baz Luhrmann’s unique style has struck again. After a 9-year hiatus from the big screen, the Australian director takes us back to his sparkling settings, with alluring visual effects, costumes and sets faithful to the superstar Elvis. As is often the case in his films, just think of The Great Gatsby, the form is as important as the substance and this Elvis is no exception. The story does not recede an inch, the importance to every aspect of the protagonist’s life not even, but in telling it Luhrmann takes the liberty of wrapping it all up with color, lightning-fast cuts and sudden jumps from television screens to reality. This side of him emerges especially in the first hour of the film, in which he brings out the glitz and innovation represented by Elvis before being the King of Rock. The director’s imprint may be cumbersome for many, but Luhrmann is perhaps the best choice to tell the whimsical life of a character as pop and iconic as Presley. In fact, Baz manages to balance a great showmanship and majesty with the sweetness and sentimentality of the protagonistsparticularly in the way it shows family dynamics and love, the real engine of the film.

Conclusions

Elvis represents one of the best biopics of recent years and can easily be compared to Bohemian Rhapsody. With the latter, Luhrmann’s film shares the presence of historical inaccuracies at the service of the plot and the perfect choice of the protagonist, magnetic and captivating. The director transports us to a changing worldpassing from the explosiveness and novelty of the 1950s to the decadence of the following decades, also showing the impact, perhaps in a not too thorough way, of the tragedies of those years. The cast does an impeccable job, in particular the very reliable Tom Hanks and the young and very talented Austin Butler, who perfectly embodies the King of Rock in all his forms. Elvis is a colorful, funny, dramatic, explosive film: to top it all off, there are Elvis songs and an amazing soundtracke, which ranges from the sounds of those years to more contemporary ones. Not to be missed.

And you, what do you think of our Elvis review? Will you see it in the cinema? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Points in favor

  • Austin Butler and Tom Hanks flawless
  • The style of Baz Luhrmann
  • Music, by Elvis and beyond

Points against

  • Almost three hours of film are tight for the story being told: a rhythm to be reviewed
  • Historical inaccuracies

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Published by
Romina Mezzatesta

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