Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic will focus on Elvis Presley – The Kenyon Collegian

Baz Luhrmann, the famous director of “Moulin Rouge,” “Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare” and “The Great Gatsby” (2013), is back with his film experience this summer “Elvis.” Released in June, “Elvis” is a hodgepodge of everything people have come to expect from Luhrmann’s work: beautiful actors in beautiful costumes, boisterous musical numbers, Cukor-esque melodrama and a desire to increase the image rather than the depth.

Elvis Presley is a good choice of protagonist for a new biopic marketed to Generation Z and Millennials. Unlike other vintage luminaries such as the Beatles or David Bowie, Elvis is an unpopular artist among young people, although the retrograde music scene continues to shine. According to a survey by YouGov in 2018, only eight percent of 18 to 24-year-olds listened to Elvis every month, while no one listened every day. Additionally, compared to the 1.3 billion Beatles streams in 2016, Elvis was only streamed 382 million times. But with his penchant for glam performance and tragic results, it’s no wonder Luhrmann was drawn to the King of Rock n’ Roll.

“Elvis” would be nothing without its star, Austin Butler. With the help of a movement coach, karate lessons, voice training and endless action scenes, Butler captures the spirit of the story and never borders on caricature. If there’s one reason to watch “Elvis,” it’s Butler. His performance in “Trouble” is raw and full of passion, and when I saw the film in a theater, the moviegoers were as excited as the fictional 1950s audience.

As can be seen from the interesting aspects of the public, “Elvis” is a movie. Highlights include fast-paced Las Vegas flashbacks, flashy performances of classics like “That’s All Right” and “Trouble” and a sneak peek of the “’68 Comeback Special” ,” with a cameo by Stranger Things’ Dacre. Montgomery.

At 159 minutes, the film runs long, but it still leaves you with the feeling that you are not familiar with its protagonist. Many parts of Elvis’ life are unknown, and there is a strong feeling in his use by the manager Tom Parker, who is well portrayed by Tom Hanks.

My biggest problem with the movie is how it tends to gloss over or oversimplify Elvis’ flaws. Thus, Luhrmann abandons the real exploration of the disturbing relationship between Priscilla Wagner and Elvis. When they first met, Priscilla was 14 and a freshman in high school, while Elvis was 24 and in the military. In a Luhrmann scene dedicated to the beginning of their relationship, Priscilla and Elvis are shown as cute young lovers kissing sweetly in Elvis’s military uniform. In fact, Elvis was known to give 14-year-old Priscilla drugs, tell her to wear heavier clothes and constantly cheat on her.

But Luhrmann watched their marriage break up, blaming it, for the most part, on Elvis’ cheating and increasing drug use. Unfortunately, he left out important aspects of Elvis’ personality such as his reason for cheating on Priscilla – he didn’t want to sleep with a pregnant woman – and the fact that he hires someone to kill Priscilla’s karate instructor. a case.

To get his literary idea of ​​Mrs. Presley, Luhrmann cast Olivia DeJonge, who read her lines half-heartedly. Compared to his performance in “The Society,” DeJonge doesn’t seem as attached to his character, leaving his performance tight and almost painful. This is easy, because most of the conversations given to one of the main members of the story are banal and give little information about what his interests are.

One has to consider what else Luhrmann left out about Elvis in favor of a shiny canvas. Elvis’ use of African American gospel music was seen as a breakthrough in film, a way for songs worth hearing to reach the big airwaves. However, Luhrmann’s view of history is somewhat simplistic. The black artists that Elvis took apart were probably really happy that he used their talent to achieve personal glory, even though they continued to be special radio stations or gospel radio stations for next years?

Ultimately, the film leaves large parts of Elvis’ life unseen or flattened into minute scenes, giving one the feeling that they are missing out on the story. full, or even worse. Butler’s acting and editing can make up for these shortcomings, but Luhrmann, as he does in many of his films, relies heavily on a beautiful image and a strong soundtrack to compensate. eat the lack of meat and nuanced story.

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