Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the first three books of the Sevenwaters series, a fun foray into medieval Ireland for my St. Patrick’s Day. Tina shared a recipe from the vegetarian cookbook by Mary McCartney (Paul and Linda’s daughter). Jean reviewed The Leaky Establishment by David Langford, a funny workplace novel made all the more interesting since the workplace is a high-level nuclear research facility.
Since Elton John’s 75th birthday is later this month, I thought I’d devote a couple of posts to the source of much of the soundtrack to my teens and twenties.
Rocketman was a 2019 biopic of Elton John, the British musician.
Elton grew up in Greater London. He was called Reggie by a distant father, a distracted mother, and a devoted grandmother. His music career began with piano lessons, which led to earning a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Music.
Then, he discovered rock-and-roll.
Rocketman is a musical. Various characters, not just Reggie or Elton John, break into an appropriate Elton John song at relevant places in the plot. The film didn’t care if the song had been written at the time of his life story when it’s performed. For example, I enjoyed how the song “Saturday Night’s Alright” accompanied his transition into young adulthood. The songs enhanced the story.
The framing mechanism worked well. The movie begins with Elton John, in full costume, flopping into a chair as part of a group circle and beginning to tell his story of addiction and other woes. We keep revisiting that scene (but watch for the way the costume changes) as a transition to new topics.
I also liked the fantasy elements. I mean, it’s Elton John. That probably is exactly how his mind works.
Have you seen this movie? What did you think?