In the third in a series of posts where I watch films along with Modern Technology Watches with Rob Vincent (AKA Rob T. Firefly) and Gila Drazen and then share my thoughts, I sat down last night and watched the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Rocketman was a film I had wanted to see when I first heard about it, but life and time got me distracted and I forgot about it. As a child my mother was a big Elton John fan and we had quite a few of his records in our home music library. Most of the music my mom liked was not really to my taste, but Elton John was always an exception to that rule. There were only a handful of things I knew about Elton John before seeing this film:

  1. Elton John is an amazing musician.
  2. Elton John is gay.
  3. Elton John went to rehab.

After seeing this film that list became somewhat longer, but the film was very obviously not a true-to-life depiction of the timeline of young Reginald Kenneth Dwight becoming the iconic Sir Elton Hercules John. This fact is made unmistakably obvious early in the film when a young Reggie Dwight breaks into singing Elton John’s 1974 hit “The Bitch Is Back.”

Rocketman starts with a fully-costumed Elton John (portrayed by Taron Egerton) marching down a hallway. Fully expecting him to burst onto a stage, he instead enters a room with a group of people sitting in a circle, and he sits down and confesses to being an addict. The rest of the film is composed of memories from Elton John’s wild, turbulant, and often tragic life as he rises from a working class kid to the superstar sensation he became. In spite of being produced by the figure being portrayed in the film, there were seemingly no attempts made to try to sugar coat some of the rougher aspects of his life, and I appreciated that.

I found Rocketman to be an overall enjoyable film. There were defiitely a few moments where the film brought me to tears, I must admit. Overall I would give it an 8.5/10 rating. If you enjoy musicals, creative interpretations of real-life events, or the music of Elton Joh, I would definitely recommend this film. Rob and Gila gave it “two fireflies up” and I’ll throw a third firefly into that mix.