Having worked in the entertainment industry for an amazing five decades, it comes as a surprise that Rocketman is the very first biopic of such a colourful man and performer as Elton John. A string of hits and powerful personality has led to him influencing many that have followed, his legacy sure to live on for years to come.

Rocketman is a retelling of Elton John's (Taron Egerton) fantastical life, from his breakthrough years to his struggles with depression, substance abuse and the acceptance of his sexual orientation.
As soon as Rocketman starts, you know what sort of ride you're in for, Dexter Fletcher having a clear vision on how he wanted to portray the life of such a big character, by going big with the production. This isn't a conventional biopic by any means, Lee Hall writing it as a number of flashbacks amongst a group session during Elton's time in rehab. It isn't always big glasses and loud outfits mind as Fletcher and Hall work together, with input from Elton himself no doubt, to tell an unflinching tale of love, most importantly for yourself.

Rocketman doesn't dance around the troubles in Elton's extraordinary life, his family life at a younger age setting him down the long and winding road to stardom that inevitably leads to plenty of drugs and alcohol, all while trying to navigate the homosexuality that first finds love, followed quickly by pain. It's funny when it needs to be but also incredibly touching at times. 

All of this comes amongst what I can only describe as a fantastical celebration of Elton's string of hits, the fantasy elements working a treat and suiting the man down to a tee. It's a proper musical by nature, so expect to be toe-tapping when he hits the big time with Crocodile Rock or even wowing a local pub with Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting), the musical numbers intertwined with specific moments in his younger life brilliantly.

The musical numbers and Elton's story are major players in the film's success however, Taron Egerton's electrifying performance as Elton John is the real driving force in making this a stunning biopic. The singing is note perfect and the charisma really does ooze from the screen as Egerton, quite literally, becomes Elton. Seriously, there were a few moments where I thought they had chucked in stock footage of Elton just to mess with us but it was indeed Egerton, that's how good he is here.

The supporting cast, Jamie Bell in particular as Elton's longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin, deliver alongside Egerton to make Rocketman stand-out amongst many other biopics. Richard Madden as John Reid delivers a juxtaposed performance that will really get under your skin while Stephen Graham nearly steals the show as Dick James, Elton and Bernie's first manager.

There truly is no stealing the show in Rocketman mind as this is well and truly Taron Egerton's film. If Kingsman earned him a reputation as a rising star, Rocketman will make him a true star. 

Verdict: ★★★★★


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