There aren’t many movies that catch my eye and have my attention leading up to their debut in theaters. I’ve been listening to Elton John for majority of my life due to my mother often owning cassettes and CD’s of his. Growing up I never appreciated his music but once I graduated high school and moved away from home for college I started to dig into the catalog of Sir Elton.
I really can’t say enough great things about Rocketman, I really can’t. I love how the biopic was based on Elton John’s childhood and some highlights (and a lot of lowlights) of his early career. The movie blasts us into outer space as it dives into Elton’s music career, his dive into alcohol and drug abuse, and his struggle in life as a homosexual who never was never unconditionally loved by his self-centered mother and middle class working father.
I often found myself relating to Elton John while watching Rocketman. I say that because who doesn’t want to be loved unconditionally by their parents? If someone grew up in home similar to Elton John, I’m sure they’ve had similar stories on (seemingly) having a tougher going through life, finding acceptance from those they encounter. To me, that’s what Rocketman was about and that’s what I was able to relate to watching the film.
A line from the movie I really enjoyed in regards to Reginald Dwight picking the name Elton John to be his stage name was: “Gotta kill the person you were born to be in order to be the person you want to be.”
I enjoyed that line because – to me, it speaks about the mindset a musician (or any other line of work one has a stage name for) to be successful. With that, Reginald Dwight was able to leave his old self behind to become the person he wanted to be known for in the music business – which brought him to a horrible place with drugs and alcohol.
I’ll admit, I teared up towards the end of the film where Elton John checked himself into rehab at the start of the film and was going through his life, trying to find the reason why he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, when career-long songwriter Bernie Taupin came to visit and Elton told Bernie that he doesn’t believe he can come back to music being clean. Bernie told Elton that he can and gave him an envelope, a flashback to how they met, and told Elton to put his lyrics to music.
With that, one of my personal favorite songs of Elton played, “I’m Still Standing,” and we saw clips of the music video in with the film and I got goosebumps due to two lines (well, a line and the chorus) in the song: “And did you think this fool could never win? Well look at me, I’m coming back again! I got a taste of love in a simple way. And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away. Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. I’m still standing after all this time. Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind”
Rocketman is a story about Reginald Kenneth Dwight becoming Elton Hercules John, his childhood and early music career, drug and alcohol abuse, going to rehab and coming back to the music business and becoming a survivor. Even if you aren’t a Elton John fan, go and see Rocketman – it’s a story that anyone can find pieces to relate to. Elton John’s story about “…coming back again….”and letting us know that he’s “…still standing after all this time.”
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