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YMMV / Rocketman (2019)

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Between this film and Bohemian Rhapsody, you'd be hard-pressed to pinpoint what Dexter Fletcher actually thinks of John Reid, with this film portraying him as a predatory monster who was responsible for Elton's worst drug excesses, while in Rhapsody he's a completely decent guy who's set up to be fired by that kind of person. That said, the two films were written by different people (none of whom were Fletcher) from the differing perspectives of the acts he managed (both of which oversaw their films), and Fletcher was presumably bound to the script already provided when he took over on Rhapsody, assuming he even filmed any of Reid’s scenes in that film.
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    • How much are you supposed to like/hate Elton's mother, Sheila? On the one hand, she ends up supporting his musical talents, listening to him at the piano and watching his performances at bars, and when he grows up, she lets him stay at her house and visits him often. Elton even frets over whether him coming out to his mother would break her heart. At the same time, it's painfully obvious how emotionally distant she is: when Elton was young, she used his musical talent as a way to attack her husband, and acted only mildly annoyed when Elton caught her cheating. When Elton's an adult, due to Ambiguous Syntax, it's unclear whether or not she accepts his sexuality and just disapproves of his lifestyle, or if she doesn't approve at all. Is her asking for money to move to a different place away from her son just the actions of an entitled ingrate to her son, or is it from a place of genuine frustration that her son is icing everyone out of his life? Elton wasn't very gracious at the dinner table either, accusing his mom of "leaving him" when he's already been shown to be self-destructive and cold to his peers. The ending scene at the therapy session seems to imply that Elton, despite everything, still loves his mother, but that he will also stand up to her if she tries to talk down to him again.
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  • Award Snub: Despite having been nominated for several major awards, including the Screen Actor's Guild award, winning the Golden Globe, having been considered a front-runner for most of the year and many critics having praised his performance as highly, if not higher, than the previous year's winner, Taron Egerton was completely ignored at the Oscars, not even getting a nomination.
  • Awesome Music: It's a Jukebox Musical about Sir Elton John. Of course the music is fantastic.
    • The first performance of "Crocodile Rock" is just spectacular, on both an audio and visual level. The moment when Elton and the crowd start floating is breathtaking.
    • "Your Song" moves everyone, in-universe and out, to tears with how good it is.
    • "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" combined with an actual bar fight and a young Elton owning the room.
    • The titular song, as Elton is a gust of honor at a baseball stadium, with heavy audience participation and the Elton imagining himself blasting off.
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    • "Honky Cat" just for the sheer energy being put into it.
    • The orchestral arrangement of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" that play at the beginning and the end of the film. It hints at Elton finally entering rehab and going on the straight and narrow.
    • "I'm Still Standing". Not only a triumphant ending combined with a Badass Boast, but the slower intro contains a renewed sense of awe and wonder, showing how with all the shit he's been through he's still standing above it all.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Probably about as much as Rocketman fans are Friendly Fandoms with the BoRhap fandom. Although both films' cast members are friendly with one another and actively avoid feeding into the media's attempts at beef, people's endless comparisons between Rocketman and BoRhap have spawned considerable animosity among some fans nonetheless. The Oscars Award Snub for Rocketman has only exacerbated the discourse.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Bohemian Rhapsody. Although this film received better reviews, fans of both movies generally get along. It also helps that Dexter Fletcher directed both and Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek attended the London premiere of this film and gave nothing short of high praise. This has led to some jokes that both movies should be used to launch a Live Aid Cinematic Universe.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The beginning lines of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "When are you gonna come down? When are you going to land?" take on greater meaning in the context of Bernie asking this to Elton, the self-proclaimed "Rocket Man".
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Taron Egerton was shown to have depth in Kingsman. Here he takes it Up to Eleven convincingly plays a younger version of Elton John, and the end credits show the uncanny resemblance with the body language and the wardrobe.
    • The two children who play Young Elton — Matthew Illesley and Kit Conner— steal the show before the man even gets his record deal. Special notice to the scene where Kit Conner as teenage Elton gives a Badass Boast before singing "Saturday Night's All Right (For Fighting)".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hollywood Homely: This man is supposed to be traditionally unattractive. Somehow. Perhaps because he wears glasses? Granted, as the fictionalised Elton grows older, heavier makeup and worse styling are applied to Egerton, but viewers still express disbelief at the idea that this incarnation of Elton is meant to look in any way ugly for a good reason. He also frequently refers to himself as "fat." At the very least, Egerton himself has acknowledged that he doesn't look all that much like the real-life Elton.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Even before the film's release, much of the hype and discussion revolved around the sex scene shown between Elton and Reid, with fans of their actors being especially excited for it. Although it does deserve credit for being the first sex scene shown between two male characters in a major studio film, the scene is not particularly graphic nor is it the only thing about the film that celebrates Elton's sexuality, and the relationship that comes from this scene, in both the film and Elton's real life, does not end well.
    • A small minority of fans have even taken pairing Egerton and Madden to a further extreme because of this scene, harassing Egerton's real-life girlfriend and Madden's close friend and roommate Brandon Flynn for getting in the way of the two, despite both Egerton and Madden repeatedly affirming that their offscreen friendship is entirely platonic and professional.
  • Moment of Awesome: Teenage Elton's Badass Boast to a drunk bar attendee who puts a drink on his piano, complete with Tranquil Fury. "You can't put that's going to get knocked off." Cue bar brawl and musical number, and Elton growing up before our eyes. Unsurprisingly, he brings down the house.
  • Narm Charm: Egerton's dancing treats the first part of "I'm Still Standing", where he's still inside the rehab facility, as though it's as energetic as the original instead of the slow, almost dramatic build-up the movie version has. It works in a sense as Elton's reclaiming his will, determination, and spirit to perform again, even before he's left.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The film ends before Elton meets his eventual husband, David Furnish, proving his mother wrong in that he would never find love.
    • In the epilogue we are told that Elton John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation and has since raised over $400 millions for the cause. Impressive, but also somewhat out of the blue, since AIDS hasn't been mentioned at all in the movie. There are, however, several deleted scenes showing Elton John becoming aware of the disease and even getting tested himself. It's understandable that the filmmakers might not have wanted to add to the already huge pile of movies equating gay men with AIDS, but it's still a shame since it meant cutting the only subplot which showed Elton John caring about something outside of himself.
    • The film places a lot of emphasis on Elton's piano skills, but little on his vocals. We never hear once about his mid-80s vocal cord surgery and how it changed him from a tenor to a baritone, rendering him unable to sing the iconic falsetto notes that made his voice stand out in the 70s.


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