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Elvis

Published August 20, 2022

Elvis

Film info

  • Title Elvis
  • Director Baz Luhrmann
  • Year 2022
  • Run time 2hrs 39m
  • Genres Music, History, Drama
  • Tagline The man. The legend. The King of Rock & Roll.

A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis's story is seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker. As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley.

Live blog

Time Comment
1:24 He’s such a legend but I don’t know who he is, oops.
4:45 This film is painfully Baz Luhrmann.
6:07 Yay, Sun Records.
8:08 “It don’t matter if you do ten stupid things, as long as you do one smart one.”
10:31 That’s a crossover I wasn’t expecting, Elvis MCU.
16:43 “What they hollerin’ at?” Oh sweet Elvis.
26:17 I like the journey of his poster billing getting bigger and bigger.
35:20 Chickens in the house!
42:55 “The Colonel has given us all of this.” “I don’t want all of this!”
44:24 LOVING the purple car.
57:52 “Crimes of lust and passion” the newspaper says. What is the crime?
1:09:46 I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Elvis film.
1:16:47 The decrepit Hollywood sign is interesting.
1:22:07 Turns out they didn’t need the applause signs.
1:24:13 “Santa Claus is bringing you a lawsuit.”
1:33:38 I didn’t appreciate the history behind If I Can Dream.
1:41:52 Did Elvis invent Las Vegas residencies?
1:47:47 5 years without even asking him??
2:00:11 In context ‘Elvis has left the building.’
2:14:06 EP.
2:19:34 God, it’s all just so desperately sad. All he did wrong was be talented.

Thoughts

This was an emotional rollercoaster for me. The first 10-20 minutes I found really difficult because it had that frantic Luhrmann feel that makes me feel dizzy and nauseous. I wanted to stick with it though because I knew there were going to be good songs throughout and it gradually became more and more clear to me that I didn’t know anything about Elvis’s life.

I know all the obvious stuff, and I knew that he was considered vulgur and dangerous early on, although I didn’t know he was threatened with jail because of it. So after I settled into the film it was a fascinating journey and I learnt a lot and really, really want to learn more.

THEN. The end. Honestly, as soon as he collapsed in the corridor and we joined up the bit the film started on, after that I was basically crying right until the credits rolled. It all just seemed so desperately unfair, this incredibly talented individual and the bad decisions that everyone around him kept making. He’s not completely innocent, obviously, but it’s just another story about the pressures of fame ruining someone’s life and ultimately ending it prematurely. SO SAD.

This isn’t a perfect film for me, sometimes Baz’s efforts just feel so heavy-handed, but then cross-section that with an incredible performance by Austin Butler who not only nailed the part but also managed to evolve Elvis over his too short lifetime in a completely natural and believable way. It takes a lot to overshadow Tom Hanks in a movie, but it was easily done in this. More than anything, this just whet the appetite to know more about the Las Vegas legend.

Rating: 5 / 5

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