Elvis Presley: Name and surname of a legend. A myth echoing in the annals of music, a titanic figure who like many great artists, it died out all too quickly, fiercely burning and crossing the borders. But who really killed the boy from Memphis who died at just 42 years old? Were the excesses and the pills prescribed by your GP? Too much effort? The arduous artistic life that wore him down away from the stage? The new film directed by Baz Luhrman (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby), elvistries to answer the question by giving a sophisticated and romantic interpretation (and the first reactions are excellent; in Cannes there was a 10 minute standing ovation for Elvis).
From the start, the Australian director, screenwriter and producer seemed like the perfect filmmaker to tell this story with his shiny, extreme and colorful style. not just the rise and fall of a rock star (an Austin Butler already auditioned for the 2023 Oscars), but also his troubled relationship with his manager, the enigmatic Colonel Tom Parker (an extraordinary tom hanks). And the latter guides the main strands of the story and pulls the audience into a crazy rollercoaster ride, characterized by light and shadow. A portrait of Elvis Presley between the divine and the human, sometimes overly fragmented and daring, but effective in describing his artistic and intimate parable, especially in analyzing his fragility, hidden by the perfection of the stage. elvisdistributed by Warner Bros., will be released in Italian cinemas on June 22, 2022 and is among the films to be released in cinemas in June 2022.
Elvis: the balance between making a myth and living a star
elvis It’s a project that hides its true intentions well: although the incredible American singer, dancer and actor’s overall musical and personal life is integral to the story, what is most striking is the attention paid to Presley’s divine consecration.
The Making of a Myth Originally created ad hoc by Parker and continued over time by other producers and agents, with Barker Tom always having the final say. Originally from Tupelo, the young man grew up in poverty in a predominantly African-American neighborhood influenced by their music, of rhythm and blues and gospel, he had an extraordinary talent, but it had to be used in a system larger than himself, which saw him only as a money grinder. If we disregard the early days of his career, the rock star with the rebellious tuft of hair it was always accompanied by the “invisible” hand of the colonel: The result is an iconic character, shaped behind-the-scenes by his manager’s prolific acumen and evidently his natural penchant for the stage.
It follows that the feature film is not only a brilliant biopic, but also a slick and intelligent look at the music industry at the turn of the 50s and 70s, when a plant under construction was still being tested. So, thanks to these different readings, we have two perspectives on the story: that of Parker, which accompanies the entire film and which focuses on the aspects related to the manipulation and invention of the King of Rock, and that of Elvis himself, more subtle and less explicit, who instead tells the public about the man behind the myth. A shy boy who is very devoted to his mother and shows a marked fragility has seized an enviable opportunity which led him to success, but also to ruin.
Excess as a staging and narrative key
Baz Luhrman to manage elvis These elements, linked to the character’s most intimate experience and her transformation into a pillar of the music, choose excess as the central linchpin of the cinematic experience. This if it works perfectly to paint the artistic aspects of the protagonist, does not bind well with more private and personal components of the artist. The script’s narrative, written by the director with the participation of Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce and Jeremy Doner, is not always chronological but very often emotionally driven.
The images of Presley’s life and career are fragmented, reflecting the glow and darkness of a sensitive and imperfect being, with constant changes of scenery that are not always easy to follow. direction, similarly,
is baroque: the filmmaker, staying true to his eccentric and unconventional stylecomposes eclectic sequences in which the rendition of the King’s concerts is combined with dreamlike scenes born of the director’s imagination, multi-angle shots and black and white fragments.
A multi-faceted collage that manages to enchant the viewer, but also to keep him away from the events of the American singer. An excess on both sides: When he approaches empathy the feelings are almost palpable, when instead he goes through alienation he takes totally chaotic and uncoordinated drifts. The special soundtrack that as happened before The Great Gatsbymixes the music of the time with modern covers featuring artists like our own Maneskin, Eminem, Tame Impala, Doja Cat, Jack White and many others.
The unexpected and powerful result reinforces Presley and his importance and influence in the history of the rock genre, the direct son of his genius. Moving on to the cast, we have an Austin Butler giving an interpretation of Elvis as captivating as his musickaleidoscopic and chameleon-like in its ability to smoothly shift between human and divinity, emphasizing fear and fear, glory and self-destruction.
An unbalanced and touching performance, also the daughter of Luhrmann’s excess, which will certainly be considered for the 2023 Oscars. Tom Hanks, on the other hand, brings to life a rather monotonous and mean character, rather traditional and schematicwho reaches the pinnacle of insane brutality with his acting skills and still manages to break the hearts of the audience.