Genre: Biography | Drama | Music |
Runtime: 159 min
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Richard Roxburgh
The life story of Elvis Presley is seen through the complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
POLISHED & A VISUAL EMPTY BONANZA
For years, Elvis Presley has been stated as the legend of Rock n’ Roll, the King of Rock shines were like the sun, it’s always there. Presley’s impact on the music industry and the pop culture is so vast it won’t fit in the film. His stroke of genius doesn’t get his place in this film as he should.
We also know that director Baz Luhrmann loves long-length movies over two hours, almost three hours. It’s his signum, his trademark. A movie of two hours if using the story well could be considered a good film, balancing the plots equally with the characters, developments, and the overall story. Here’s what Luhrmann does wrong. Just like The Great Gatsby, it’s beautiful and fascinating with over-the-top performance but it’s hard to keep track of the plot.
The same thing is the problem with the film. It’s too polished. You could say that this film is a fucking summary of Presley from a young age and to his off-screen death. It tips its toes in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Almost thirty-forty minutes per decade. The most annoying part is that Austin Butler doesn’t look like the part. It’s more of a shady Elvis-lookalike. It feels fake in a bad way. Even though that Tom Hanks is often good in his performance, he doesn’t convince in his rigorous role as colonel, who changes his accent every sentence in a squeaky voice. The run time is far too long for a movie this size. It skips right through the 60s decade when Elvis Presley made films his Hollywood. Everything is polished in this film. It’s only on the surface, annoyingly. It’s also rushed in some parts of the story and lingers in other sections of the film.
The editing stands out as well. It tries to make something different with the editing and the swirling and the multi-camera shots that pop up every now and then which becomes tedious as the story progresses. It’s a beautiful shot film and there’s a good pace in the film. Luhrmann seems to get far too lost in the visual and doesn’t care about the emotional impact. It feels like a rehearsal with a typical Hollywood film aura.
There are a lot of decades running through the film and a lot of costume changes. Butler is annoying to follow through the film and Hank’s character explains everything in the beginning like it’s a campfire story, retelling even though his character is dead and long gone. Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations of the film. It dwells and lingers in some places in an uneven manner making an impatient film that just never wants to end.