The fantasy biopic about musical legend (and one of my favorite artists) Elton John has come home on blu-ray and DVD thanks to Paramount Pictures.
Taron Egerton who is bound to be nominated for an Oscar (or should be) IS Elton John in this jukebox musical that tells the musician’s personal history in a fantastical, brilliantly colorful way while still dealing with the peaks and valleys of his career and personal life.
Using the Elton’s musical catalog, created by he and the brilliant Bernie Taupin (played in the film by Jamie Bell), the songs are used in the best way they should be in musicals… to advance the story, and each one works amazingly, and Egerton takes on a monumental task of doing all of his own singing (which is given a look at in the extras) .
The bright and colorful tale is a recollection by John as he checks himself into a therapy group to deal with the issues that are consuming and ruining his life. This gives them a little leeway in the storytelling, the imagery, and the songs. The result is one of my favorite films that I saw on the screen this year (and a soundtrack that gets played not quite as much as my Elton John discography, but quite a bit).
The film, despite its fantastical elements is very much grounded in the reality of the problems Elton developed through his career, and each of them are addressed, and Egerton does a great job of bringing them to life.
The result is an incredibly enjoyable musical that has a strong emotional core thanks to the songs and the performances. It’s a great watch and I definitely see this disc finding its way into high rotation on my playlist.
It looks and sounds beautiful, and some of the interpretations of classic songs are so well done, and incorporated into the instrumental score, conducted by Matthew Margeson that backs the film that it allows you to hear some songs in a new way.
Rounding out the disc is a bevy of special features. The extras include some Extended Musical Numbers, and it’s cool to see how they play out, but you can also tell why there were trimmed for the film. The same can be said of the deleted and extended scenes. It’s always interesting to see how things may have played out, but the film works perfectly the way it came to the screen under director Dexter Fletcher’s able hand.
We also get a look at the genesis of the film, with a chat between Taron and Elton as we get a glimpse behind the scenes, and how the film came to be. There’s a short featurette on how Taron took on the role, and transformed into Elton.
There’s a great examination of the production design and the costume work for the film that saw many iconic Elton John outfits blazing across the screen. And I love a look at the choreography for the film, and how the musical numbers were staged, which like the songs, also has to advance the plot, and can’t be there for just the frills.
I loved this film from start to finish, it moved me,it resonated within me my favorite Elton John songs do, it made me sing-a-long, and then as soon as it was over I wanted to start it again. Now I can. And you can bring it home today on DVD and blu-ray from Paramount Pictures.