The King of Rock and Roll is Back

The latest instalment of biopics in Hollywood is dedicated to the King of rock and roll himself, Elvis Presley. Elvis follows the career of Presley through the eyes of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks) which give the film a unique arc. It’s also helped by the fact that Hanks often breaks the fourth wall, helping the audience to stay invested in the story and helping to give it its unique storytelling.

Elvis Poster

Austin Butler takes on the daunting role of the man himself, bringing brilliant energy during on stage performances as well as the emotions one feels during high-intensity scenes. He excels at this, all while portraying the rock and roll behaviour in such a short space of only 159 minutes.  Butler is joined by a cast of smaller actors including Olivia DeJonge playing his wife, Pricilla, giving just as much to the scenes as Butler. Creating a powerful team and bringing realism to the characters which ultimately fuels the plot.

The director (Baz Luhrmann) made some good choices in terms of mixing older looking footage with modern footage, often switching between black and white shots to ones in full colour, showing the fullness of Elvis’ suits he performed in. As well as news reports and then seeing the events play out in ‘real’ time from another point of view. I really enjoyed that there were parts cut into slices, so we saw multiple things on the screen at once, or the image looking like a comic book when talking about Presley’s childhood. A small detail that gets brought up over the course of the film. Or, finally, the headlines from articles fading into scenes so we as an audience get a chance to read what is being written while not taking away from the main act.  The editing is one of my favourite aspects of the film. I personally thought it was brilliant and really kept the film entertaining, even for someone like me who didn’t know much about Elvis’ story.

Overall, I would recommend this film for people who are fans of Elvis and even for people who aren’t or don’t know much about his story. The acting, editing and story arc were interesting and makes this film a standout from other biopics we have seen in the last few years within Hollywood.

Words by Ben Wheeler

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