Rocketman Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Elton Hercules John (Taron Egerton), dressed as a Fallen Angel, comes to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He has something to tell these people: he is an alcoholic, a sexaholic, a drug addict and a shopaholic. And all these versatile hobbies come from childhood: a stern father who only recognizes jazz, a dissolute mother who did not care about the child. And only the grandmother, who realized that little Reginald Dwight – that’s what Elton John was really called – had a clear pianist talent.

Years passed, Reggie grew up, realized his sexual orientation, confessed this to his mother – and the mother, which is characteristic, did not exactly approve, but said that it would be very difficult for him to deal with this in life.

Reginald took the pseudonym Elton Hercules John or simply Elton John, after which he began his triumphant march around the planet as a pop-rock musician.

Elton has been looking for love all his life. First, with his old friend Bernie (Jamie Bell), who became the author of the lyrics to his songs, but he turned out to be straight, then with music producer John Reid (Richard Madden), whom Elton was beaten and abandoned, and then came a period of orgies, cocaine and alcoholism.

At some point, Elton realized that it was time to quit this shit, went to the clinic and really quit.


The comparison with “Bohemian Rhapsody” for this film suggests itself. Both of these films are like biographical ones, but at the same time exactly what is “like like”. Both are about some of the most iconic figures in the world of music. The director of “Rocketman” Dexter Fletcher (by the way, a famous actor who starred, in particular, with Guy Ritchie in the film “Locks, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels”), after the departure of Bryan Singer, filmed “Bohemian Rhapsody” and edited this film.

This is their similarity. But what is their difference? “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a melodrama about the life of the great Freddie, in which there are many mistakes and inaccuracies, but the performer of the role of Freddie Rami Malek gave it his all, and this somehow reconciles with this rather weak picture. I note that in this film, genuine Queen songs sound and Rami Malek just opens his mouth to Freddie’s soundtracks.

“Rocketman” is a picture staged under the strict control of Elton John himself. The script was written by Lee Hall, screenwriter of “Billy Eliot”, Sir Elton himself planned Justin Timberlake for the main role, and negotiations were held with him, which did not lead to anything. Tom Hardy was also planned (hmm …), but in the end the role went to Taron Egerton from “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, about which it was written very funny on “IMDB”, I quote:

The third film in the career of Taron Egerton, which featured Elton John. In the beginning there was a computer-animated musical by Garth Jennings Sing (2016), where Egerton performed one of John’s compositions. The second was Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2015). Here Edgerton played John himself.

But this is just a quote from IMDB, where it says:

This is Taron Egerton’s third movie featuring Elton John as a character or contributor. The first movie was Sing (2016) where Egerton sang Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” The second time, Elton John is co-starred in Egerton’s Kingsman: The Golden Ring (2017). In this film, Egerton plays his own version of Elton John.

Meanwhile, on IMDB itself, it is quite clearly written that Elton John himself played Elton John in this film. And it was perfectly visible in the picture.

Nevertheless, Edgerton Elton John in this picture is quite pulled. Plus, and this is important, all the compositions were voiced by Taron himself, and it was not copying at all, but, let’s say, some rethinking. At the beginning of the film, it was done great when little Reggie performed one of the compositions, and then all his relatives, but then this technique was no longer repeated, which is a pity – it was a great find.

The musical numbers in the film are very well done, and if there were more of them, the film could be considered a full-fledged musical. However, here the number of musical numbers does not reach the musical.

Unlike “Bohemian Rhapsody”, where what was happening was given out in that tone and from the angle from which Brian May and Roger Taylor saw it (it’s a pity that Freddie himself could no longer be asked), “Rocketman” is actually a reflection of Elton himself John, which, of course, is good. However, Elton John is in a hurry to talk about things that are important for him – a difficult childhood, homosexuality, a complete separation, alcohol and drugs – and, apparently, he does not specifically concentrate on his work, and to be honest, I personally am much more interested in this than with who Elton John slept with and how he enjoyed himself.

Because Elton John is an amazing melodist. He did not write anything super-genius, but many of his songs are truly masterpieces of pop-rock and are golden classics. The picture shows that all this was created literally at once: Elton received a piece of Bernie’s poems, placed them at the piano, sketched a dozen chords – a masterpiece is ready. Well, maybe someone will believe that this is so, but I, excuse me, do not believe it.

Also, Elton’s famous concerts, where he ignited hundreds of thousands of stadiums – this is said completely in passing. Well, he lit it. Well, you know, the kid rattled on the phono, then Bernie fitted him with rhyming verses, he blew something on the keys – and became a super musician. This is what I didn’t like the most. It would be much more interesting for me to know how it all happened, where it all came from, how he created his compositions.

But there is none of that in the movie. Elton – quite sincerely, I admit – as he says in confession: holy father, I have sinned, I fucked with men, sniffed tons of cocaine and drank alcohol for many years. We, though not holy fathers, know all this very well. However, Elton John is an iconic figure of this era, he is really an outstanding musician, I was still more interested in learning about music than about where and how he screwed. After all, who among us hasn’t screwed up in this life? Of those who are of at least some interest – just everything!

By the way, the icing on the cake is that the same scoundrel producer John Reed, who first fucked Elton, and then mattressed and threw, is present in the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” – because it was he who promoted the Queen group.

How is it filmed? Is it necessary to watch it? It’s pretty well shot, I’m not going to lie. They used all 56 famous eyeglass frames, used most of Elton’s famous costumes, which could tell a lot about his very clouded inner world. Edgerton was liked in his role, because he was clearly up to the task. Nothing struck, like Rami Malek, but he was quite in his place.

As a musical, it’s quite worth watching, but you need to keep in mind that there is not much of a musical here. Like a biopic of Elton John – no, it’s not a biopic. But one cannot fail to note the sincerity of Sir John, who does not hesitate to show what he went through. For this he deserves respect. But, as I said, it would be more interesting for me to see a picture about his work and his concerts. And that, unfortunately, is almost non-existent in the film.

PS By the way, I was at a couple of Elton John’s concerts in Moscow. He played soundly, but obviously somehow without a soul and without a drive. Didn’t get hooked. I saw recordings of his concerts in other countries – here he seemed to reveal himself in a completely different way: this guy knows how to light up when he wants.


Rocketman movie meaning

Director: Dexter Fletcher Cast: Gemma Jones, Jamie Bell, Taron Egerton, Stephen Macintosh, Keith Connor, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Tom Bennett, Matthew Illesley, Charlie Rowe

Budget: $40M, Worldwide gross: $187M
Musical melodrama, UK-USA-Canada, 2019, 121 min.

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