Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher, 2019)

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Taron Egerton looking his very worst is at his most attractive in Rocketman: a real star-making performance for those, like I, who might have thought the Kingsman films didn´t quite do it for him. He´s terrific at capturing a particular kind of blokeish queeniness one associates with Elton John; he´s the first public figure to evoke that combination of football laddishness and out of control queenly glitter,  obviously characteristic of a whole social formation, an under-represented one. The actor´s bolshy relish is also the film´s. A musical through and through, most imaginative in the way it narrates through song, choreography, costuming. I´ve never been a particular fan of Elton John´s but Rocketman made me realise the extent to which he´s been part of the soundtrack of my life. It´s a very funny film and I was quite moved at times: the ‘I Want Love’ number is lovely and beautifully staged to convey a structure of feeling across family relations. The film seems to be very English also. I liked everything about it except the codas at the end. They come across as too self-congratulatory. And I could have done without the bit of Elton hugging his younger self. The film would have ended better just with the ‘I´m still standing’ number. But these are minor niggles. Rocketman is brilliant.

José Arroyo

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