“Elvis” Movie Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla). #ElvisMovie
Elvis is Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. And in my opinion the first clear award season bait of the year. Or at least, Austin Butler was that nomination for Best Actor secured for now. Elvis is this year’s award season King Richard and of course is also a Warner Bros movie, so that’s that. It works exactly as expected as tell all story being the icon that was Elvis Presley, minus the Priscilla Presley times which they didn’t dive into too much.
This movie shines in every single way imageable for awards season, from the cinematography, the production design, hairstyling, make-up, and costume design. And all this shined because director Baz Luhrmann was the only person that currently has the mastermind to recreate these times so faithfully and so perfectly for this story. The esthetic of the 50’s vibe was all over this movie from beginning to end, you can clearly see that production wise they took extra care on making sure every single detail worked, which is something I also give mad props for.
Let’s talk about the performances by the cast. Without a doubt Austin Butler shine as Elvis, the man basically transform himself into the King of Rock N Roll. Nobody can deny his masterful performance. There wasn’t a single scene throughout the whole movie where you could easy say that doesn’t look like Elvis, even in the last act in Elvis final days what they make up department did with him was simple superb. Now, Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker is another different story. And is weird because this Elvis story is told from the perspective of this character. But for some reason the way they went about with recreating Colonel Tom Park didn’t work for me. The whole makeup setup and look clearly look fake as the accent. Nothing against Tom Hank as an actor, but clearly, they miss the mark with the casting for this role.
Another issue I had with the movie is the runtime. The whole two hours and forty minutes really took a toll on you while you seat there in the theater throughout the whole movie. And the main problem is that is not a pacing issue, nor an issue of what scenes we should cut or not is just really difficult to really tell this story leaving something behind, so the runtime is just something you have deal with. Some people will find it long, other will just dive so much into the story and the character that they will just don’t care about.
When this movie was first announced, I clearly remember everyone saying this is the Bohemian Rhapsody of this year. And honestly, I can see the resemblance, but where Rhapsody was more about the music, the band, and Freddie Mercury. Elvis is all about his journey, and the impact his music made. And yes, if Rami Malek performance was award worthy, Austin Butler performance tops his in every way imageable.
Elvis pays great tribute to the life and times of Elvis Presley, and Austin Butler gives it all for his performance. The movie is not perfect, but ultimately is a great one time watch to remember the music, and the impact on the industry. I bet a lot of people will be dancing and singing in the theater.