‘Elvis’ Shows All the Artist’s Own Glory and Heartbreak


Elviswritten and directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, The big Gatsby) includes a familiar flashy montage, sometimes pushing the story through brilliance as opposed to substance. Luhrmann takes on a lot of story and sometimes the film overtakes it, but it remains intriguing and enjoyable at 2 hours and 39 minutes.

Elvis Presley Credit: Image from Pixabay

The first and repeated narrative we find is that of Colonel Tom Parker, played by an almost unrecognizable Tom Hanks. In the opening scene, we find him as a sick old man, complaining that history has blamed him for mismanaging Elvis’ troubled career. He wants us to know “his side of him” in him.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, and his family suffered from extreme poverty, but they were rich in spirit, devout congregants of the Rev. WH Brewster in Memphis.

As a young man, Elvis divided his time between church and nearby Beale Street, where he experienced a different understanding of the spiritual freedom of music, rhythm, and the blues, and the power to express with his body what could not be said at home or at home. at church.

The screenplay unfolds the conflict between these dissonant influences with compelling and compelling success. Young Elvis was hungry to lift his family out of the bondage of poverty and music allowed him the creative license to remove his inhibitions in the process.

Luhrmann makes several attempts to credit the black Beale Street musicians Elvis emulated to stardom: BB King (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (Gary Clark, Jr.), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Yola), Little Richard (Alton Mason), Big Mama Thornton (Shonka Dukureh). They welcomed Elvis and helped mold the eager student into his image.

Beale Street infused young Elvis with soul, which was critical to his success. The film shows that Elvis returned there several times to ask his Beale Street family for advice when things got tough.

Elvis, the star-obsessed, ambitious and star-struck musician, dominated the first half of the film. As expected of Luhrmann, the production is huge, full of flash and color, maximizing our senses with each performance.

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