How "Elvis" Portrays King
posted by vicky684 about 1 month ago
The previous year was not good for Elvis Presley. According to Forbes, which calculates the earnings of the deceased, he earned a modest $30 million in 2021, which is more than Arnold Palmer but less than Bing Crosby and Dr. Seuss. However, Elvis may rest easy. Austin Butler's portrayal of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's most recent film, "Elvis," might result in a significant increase in his earnings this year. Presleyologists will learn nothing from this, while purists will find something to criticize. Less-informed viewers, though, may be captivated by Luhrmann's engaging narration. This is not a film for those who are suspicious.
Every lover of musical biopics is acquainted with the structure: a hop, skip, and leap from one highlight to the next. (Some of the lows are, of course, highs.) In the case of Elvis, this means that we encounter him in his childhood, as portrayed by Chaydon Jay, whose remarkable intensity of gaze distinguishes the child. Elvis as a truck driver, with his guitar slung over his shoulder like a gun; the cyclonic sight of Elvis onstage, lovely in pink and whipping an audience into a Dionysian frenzy; Elvis on the Steve Allen show, in white tie and tails, singing "Hound Dog" to a despondent dog; Elvis fleeing to Memphis' Beale Street to socialize with B. B. King (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) and Little Richard (Alton Mason); Elvis in Army uniform, appearing incredibly dapper and wooing the daughter of a captain, Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge); Elvis lamenting the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; Elvis lounging inside a vowel on the Hollywood sign, and being informed that his career is "in the toilet"; Elvis performing in residence at the International Hotel, in Las Vegas, flush with renewed success; and Elvis sitting sadly in a limousine, next to a private jet, and telling Priscilla, "I am going to be forty soon, 'Cilla. Forty." Has the idea of aging never occurred to him before? Two years later, he is gone, but the film spares us the unpleasant details of his demise.
Colonel Tom Parker guides us through this peculiar narrative, in which even the most intimate moments seem like public property. As has been known for some time, he was neither a genuine colonel nor a Parker nor a Tom. He was a Dutchman, Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk, who moved to the United States and constructed a new persona for himself with the ease of someone erecting a circus tent. Many would claim that he also served as Elvis's terminator. If Kevin Spacey were available, he would be a perfect match for the role. The award instead goes to Tom Hanks, who has a pointed nose, a glossy chest, and a layer of fake fat. For Hanks fans like me, these are perplexing times; compare the trailer for Disney's forthcoming "Pinocchio," in which Hanks plays Geppetto with an Einstein wig, a mustache hedge, and, I imagine, yet another nose. Currently, for whatever reason, this most dependable of performers has decided to hide in the shadows and specializes in manipulating strings, whether evil or good. According to one of Parker's several voice-overs, "I did not murder him. I created Elvis Presley." It is a genuine boy!
How does one make a wish upon a star? Simple. Parker takes Elvis on a Ferris wheel, pauses at the top of the ride, and, in the manner of the Devil, shows him all the kingdoms of the globe. "Are you prepared to fly?" asks Parker. There is nothing subtle in the production of such sequences, but as "Moulin Rouge!" (2001) shown, Luhrmann is proud of his lack of subtlety. Little remains unsaid or partially veiled. Young Elvis, for instance, sees two dancers writhing and perspiring to the lusty howl of the blues; he then hurries to a neighboring tent, gets inside, and attends a Black revivalist gathering, which gives him the Pentecostal shivers. The closeness of the two venues is preposterous, but it enables Luhrmann to emphasize his point: the Presley sound was developed with both religious and profane fervor. You do not say.
As with every narrative, there are holes in unexpected places. Thus, each Elvis fanatic is well-versed in the legend of July 1954—the late session at Sun Studio in Memphis, when Elvis, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black were ready to call it a night, unsatisfied with their previous work. As a joke, they started playing around with an old song titled "That is All Right, Mama" at a driven but drumless lick. Sam Phillips, prompted to action by what he was hearing, instructed them to begin again. Imagine what Robert Altman or Jonathan Demme would have done with such a situation; the earthquake was all the more powerful for being so laughably casual. But Luhrmann scarcely acknowledges it. He favors extended, stunning set pieces over those that have been condensed. Thus, he allots room to the iconic return show of 1968, with Elvis clad in black leather, and, subsequently, to a big slab of Vegas-era ostentation, with Elvis gleaming in studded white, like a mischievous angel on the loose. The peculiar aspect is that there are existing visual recordings of both incidents. The first was a television production, the season's most successful program, and the second was immortalized in the 1970 documentary "Elvis: That is the Way It Is." Both are available for streaming anytime desired. Although Luhrmann is causing a storm, thunder is nothing new.
Take a restroom break in the midst of "Elvis" and you may miss the film's quickest portion. This montage is dedicated to Elvis's least successful period, during which he moved to Hollywood at Colonel Parker's encouragement. The outcome includes timeless masterpieces like as "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (1962) and "Clambake" (1967), while "Elvis" provides its protagonist with an appropriate leading man's lament. He says, "I am so sick of playing Elvis Presley." My hypothesis is that, like other lovers, Luhrmann is so humiliated by the sight of such lulls that he wants to move on. Is he correct?
I am Victor UC popularly known as "Mr Victor Vlogs", I am a blogger, Content creator, web developer, etc.
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