Elvis (2022)

#9. Elvis

"But the heart of the film lies in that final limo scene.  Where Elvis questions his own legacy.  Where he felt like his music wouldn't last.  That he never left a mark.  Sometimes, true greatness cannot see itself like others can.  And in doing so, can lead to such great work, but often at a great sacrifice.

A great physical and mental sacrifice.  And Elvis, in his excess and in the poor management around him, paid the ultimate cost."

Growing up, my family and I would take weekend roadtrips down to the beach near the Oregon coast.  A bunch of single-lane, windy roads through the trees about an hour and a half away from town.  And I remember sometime as a Freshman in High School, Elvis's newly released Elvis: 30 #1 Hits album had just come out, and we would play like clockwork on the drive there, and on the drive back.  The perfect amount of time for one long album.

That was my introduction to Elvis.  And much like Michael Jackson, another person I adored with so much charisma, so much bravado on stage, they possessed the ability to tap into something greater with their music, something inspirational or uplifting, like all great art can.

 

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis has it's flaws, but for every flaw, it has charisma and bravado tenfold.  Much like it's subject.

Austin Butler does something against all odds, and that is to embody a man who is the most impersonated person in human history.  You have Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and then you have Elvis.

The live performances are electric.  Some, quite close to the original performances, and some, modernized to give it that edge would have been felt when first heard in the 50's and 60's.  Butler gives his all in reaching the heights that Elvis reached, and his energy is absolutely palpable on screen.  I can think of nothing more in honoring Elvis's memory, than to commit like Austin Butler committed to the role.

I appreciate the fact that they used an unreliable narrator in Colonel Tom Parker to further highlight the actual contractual and managerial abuse he bestowed upon Elvis.  But at times, I wondered how the film would have been if they played it straight, or perhaps even told with first-person perspective, using Elvis's narration as if he were talking about his life, and writing a letter to his mother.

But the heart of the film lies in that final limo scene.  Where Elvis questions his own legacy.  Where he felt like his music wouldn't last.  That he never left a mark.

"But the heart of the film lies in that final limo scene.  Where Elvis questions his own legacy.  Where he felt like his music wouldn't last.  That he never left a mark.  Sometimes, true greatness cannot see itself like others can.  And in doing so, can lead to such great work, but often at a great sacrifice.

A great physical and mental sacrifice.  And Elvis, in his personal excess and the poor management around him, paid the ultimate cost.

But despite his own doubts, the King is still alive.  Love live the King.

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