[Movie Review Series] Elvis, The King Of Rock & Roll

All the glamour, jewels, and bodysuits you would anticipate from an Elvis movie are present in “Elvis.” The ideal director for a Presley biopic is maximalist director, Baz Luhrmann, who despises aesthetic constraint and prefers enormous showmanship. Luhrmann narrates the tale of this icon from the viewpoint of Colonel Tom Parker, the singer’s lifelong, dishonest manager (Tom Hanks). 

A near-death Parker awakens by himself in a Las Vegas hospital room after collapsing in his garish, memorabilia-filled workspace. He wants to clear his name because he has been called a criminal and a cheat who exploited Elvis (Austin Butler).

The narration of this tale by Parker, which serves as the film’s central narrative, has the vile odor of a confession made on one’s deathbed. According to Parker, Elvis’ death was largely the result of the public’s devotion and insatiable want for more, to which Elvis became just as dependent as he was on the booze and drugs that ultimately led to his demise. 

The story of Elvis’ rise and fall, which is also the tale of Colonel Parker’s personal rise and fall, is what he is preparing the viewers for. Man, myth, and legend are merged into one hip-heaving, exceptionally gifted, blue-eyed soulster whose tragedy is foreordained by the fact that the man whose story it still belongs to is the one who bled it dry.

Austin Butler did justice to his role as Elvis. Not only did he nail the accent but his mannerism and actions were so alike Elvis that people had a difficult time trying to tell apart whether they were watching Austin Butler or old clips of Elvis Presley. Austin Butler was able to stand out from Luhrmann’s strong sensationalism and persuade others that underneath all the glittering facades and visual explosions, there’s a person. 

Many people were pretty skeptical about the movie since they felt it would just be another Elvis Presley impersonator. Butler’s interpretation of Elvis is not only a compelling performance that captured the viewers’ attention, but also believable, flawed and daring—exactly the side of Elvis that fans want to see.

In many respects, Elvis is about the people in the audience that the King (referring to Elvis) would make a point of looking back at during his performances, turning on the house lights to give faces to the faceless mob of superfans gazing up at him in the dark. Elvis’ connection to the general public is one of the film’s most compelling narrative elements.

Butler’s performance of Elvis in the movie is quite similar to being electrocuted. However, this is all appropriate and alike to past records of the adoring public who had witnessed Elvis perform. As tragic as the movie and Elvis’ life is, this biopic brought him to life momentarily not only for his fans to enjoy him once more but also for the younger generation to witness the greatness of Elvis Presley during his time.

The entire, twisting arc of Parker’s decision to sell off his and Elvis’ souls is revealed to the audience at the conclusion of the film, which takes place in that hospital room with Parker. It is true that Elvis became a dying machine performing until his last breath with the helplessness of a man who appears to have no choice, but whose exhaustion never dimmed his love for giving everything he had to give. 

The film is definitely a long and exhausting one, but it was brilliantly done, and it paid a startling tribute to Elvis, briefly bringing him back to life. Many believe that it was a biopic done right and starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley will definitely be one of the best film decisions in history. 

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