Brooklyn Jazz Hustler

Noah Wise

Director: Ben Zuckert

Cast: Mat Vairo, Raffaella Meloni, Kevin Kilner, Craig Newman, Kate Middleton, Meg Gibson

Spoiler Alerts Valid for Date of Commercial release

Writer, director and composer Ben Zuckert’s second feature film Noah Wise also premiered at the 40th Durban International Film Festival and basically tells the quirky story of a Brooklyn Jazz Hustler played by Matt Vairo.

Audiences should not expect too much to occur in this film, suffice to say it is more a humorous commentary on one young man’s journey to maturity as he navigates the perils of being broke, independent and trying to hit the big time as a saxophonist.

Noah Wise encounters several setbacks including his quartet taking a break due to a lack of performance gigs, and then Noah find a stable job teaching primary school children how to play musical instruments.

Along the way he meets the brash singer-songer writer Rachel played by Rafaella Meloni who has recently moved to New York from Minneapolis.

Quirky independent American cinema doesn’t get better than Noah Wise as he battles through the journeys of unrequited love, dealing with his parents who keep telling him that he desperately needs to take a real interest in current affairs and revealing to Rachel that he is just another broke young jazz hustler who cannot cook and eats canned Sardines.

Noah Wise is a slow moving film, sprinkled with intelligent dialogue about a young couple’s challenge to achieve their individual dreams even at the detriment of their own shifting relationship.

Perhaps, the narrative structure of Noah Wise could have done with less nuance and more action, but overall, it is a gentle compelling tale about a young couple’s love for music in the Big Apple.

Director Ben Zuckert’s Noah Wise received its international premiere at the 52nd Hof International Film Festival in Germany in 2018 before being screened at the 40th Durban International Film Festival in July 2019.

Noah Wise is recommended for audiences that enjoy American independent cinema where action is overtaken by subtle dialogue and episodic events. Noah Wise gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 as the storyline needed to be injected with some dramatic conflict to propel the narrative further.

The Skin We Live In

The White Line

No Poster Available at time of Publication

Director: Desiree Kahikopo

Cast: Jan-Barend Scheepers, Girley Charlene Jazarama, Sunet van Wyk, Mervin Uahupirapi

Spoiler Alert Valid until Date of Commercial Release

Director Desiree Kahikopo’s stunning Namibian film The White Line had its South African film premiere at the 40th Durban International Film Festival and I was lucky enough to catch a screening of it at the Suncoast Entertainment Complex.

Admittedly, I have not seen many films from the Namibian Film Commission or films that deal so brilliantly with Namibia’s tortured past prior to independence in 1990 when it was called South West Africa which fell under the special administrative region of the then South African Apartheid government.

The White Line superbly deals with the complexities of an inter-racial relationship when it was a crime for black and white persons to have a sexual relationship under the immorality act. Set in 1963, The White Line tells the story of a young South West African white policeman Pieter de Wit played by Jan-Barend Scheepers who falls in love with his black domestic worker Sylvia Kamutjeno wonderfully played by Girley Charlene Jazarama.

More significantly, The White Line deals with the ugly overt racism that existed in South West Africa especially evident in the Afrikaner rural community displayed by the policeman’s sister and husband who are inevitably shocked when he confesses his affair to his brother-in-law.

The consequences are far worse for the domestic worker who is imprisoned for breaking the immorality act. In a particular poignant scene, the two main characters have an argument in the desolate Namibian countryside at dusk whereby Sylvia tells Pieter that he has no idea how difficult it is to live in the skin she has.

The White Line is framed by the 1990 opening scenes of Namibia’s formal independence as a newly formed African country and how that independence comes with the gradual reconciliation of past secrets and a passionate plea for acceptance and diversity for Namibia’s post-independence born free generation.

The White Line is a stunning film, simply told with most of the dialogue in Afrikaans with English subtitles and is a superb example of the emerging talent of Namibian cinema.

At the Q and A after the screening, I asked the director if The White Line is going to receive a commercial release in South Africa and she assured me it will. When The White Line completes the festival circuit and does receive a commercial release, audiences should make an effort to watch it.

The White Line is a fascinating portrait of interracial love at a time when immorality was infused with political supremacy and the desires of the individual was crushed by the unjust laws of the pre-independence Apartheid South African state which governed the barren South West African territory.

Namibian director Desiree Kahikopo’s engrossing film The White Line gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is recommended viewing. Audiences should watch this film, but be aware that it deals with the issue of racism explicitly.

The Snowflake Effect

Hobbs & Shaw

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart, Cliff Curtis

Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch returns with a sure fire blockbuster, a spin off from the Fast and Furious franchise Hobbs and Shaw.

(from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

Lawmaker Luke Hobbs played by Dwayne Johnson and British bouncer Deckard Shaw played by Jason Statham team up on an unlikely mission to save the world from a deadly virus and a crazy cyber-genetically altered superhuman wonderfully played by Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok, Molly’s Game, The Mountain Between Us) who is after Deckard’s feisty sister Hattie played by Vanessa Kirby (Mission Impossible: Fallout) and proves to be a muscular and worthy villain for Hobbs and Shaw.

Idris Elba as Brixton Lorr in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

As the action moves swiftly from the sleek skyscrapers of London’s financial district to Moscow and then for a more exotic finale in Samoa, Hobbs and Shaw ticks all the right boxes to ensure that this is an entertaining action packed ballbuster with an outlandish plot, some witty one liners mostly provided by cameo appearances by Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds.

Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

The action is crazy, the stunts are amazing and as Hobbs and Shaw and Hattie desperately try to stop the spread of a deadly virus aptly known as The Snowflake effect which will kill the world’s population within 72 hours of going airborne, they get some hefty help from the entire island of Samoa lead by Luke Hobbs’s crazy brother Jonah.

Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

There are even guest appearances by Oscar winner Helen Mirren as Deckard’s mother Queenie looking absolutely ravishing even though she is stuck behind bars in a British prison and New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis (Colombiana, Die Hard 4.0, Whale Rider) plays Hobbs’s older brother Jonah who gathers the troops for the final Samoan showdown.

(from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

Let’s face it with Hollywood superstars Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in an buddy action movie, it’s sure to be a blockbuster and judging by how fill the cinema was on a Saturday matinee, Hobbs and Shaw is recommended for all those Fast and Furious fans who love fast cars, action and some damn funny one liners.

Recommended viewing, Hobbs and Shaw gets a Film Rating of 7 out of 10.

Please note all further film images are provided courtesy of United International Pictures

The Ethics of Electricity

The Current War

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen, Damien Molony, John Schwab, Conor MacNeill

Film Rating: 8 out of 10 – Highly Recommended Viewing

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon served as second unit director to Martin Scorsese, Nora Ephron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and follows his second feature film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl with The Current War featuring a host of British and American stars including Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as electricity inventor Thomas Edison opposite Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) as George Westinghouse.

Set in America in the 1880’s and the events leading up to the Chicago World Fair in 1893, Westinghouse develops alternative current electricity while Edison creates direct current electricity. As both Westinghouse and Edison woo the financial support of investment banker J. P. Morgan wonderfully played by Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms) they develop electricity and its current at an alarming pace lighting up first the American eastern seaboard and then stretching West to the Mid-West and beyond.

Soon the ethics of producing powerful electric currents are called into question when a New York government official Rudolf Young played by John Schwab is planning the first execution via the electric chair of convicted wife killer William Kemmler played by Irish actor Conor MacNeill.

The conflict within The Current War is between Westinghouse and Edison while the eccentric and penniless immigrant Nikola Tesla wonderfully played by Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, A Single Man) invents the capacity for electricity to be automated and used in machines. Tesla was also credited with harnessing the power of the Niagara Falls for hydroelectricity which produces limitless amounts of current.

It’s no coincidence that Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla is named after this enigmatic inventor who never received the credit due to him while alive as he got caught between the rivalry of Westinghouse, Edison and the manipulative banker J. P. Morgan who produced the capital to start one of the most famous electricity companies in the world: General Electric.

The Current War is a fast paced story of how 19th century America was electrified by Edison and Westinghouse and the rivalry which consumed them yet changed society forever.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon smartly employs fast paced editing and some stylistic flourishes to keep The Current War engaging, light and historically fascinating. Audiences should look out for Tom Holland (Spiderman, Far from Home, The Lost City of Z) as Edison’s loyal assistant Samuel Insull and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Fantastic Beasts) as Marguerite Westinghouse and Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game, Jupiter Ascending) as the long suffering Mary Edison.

For history buffs, catch The Current War which gets a film rating of 8 out 10 and is especially relevant today considering that now the human population depend upon electricity.

The Vipers of Sophiatown

Back of the Moon

DIFF winner – Best South African Feature Film 2019

Director: Angus Gibson

Cast: Richard Lukunku, Moneoa Monash,Lemogang Tsipa, Israel Matseke-Zulu, Sicelo Dlamini, Siyabonga Thwala

Spoiler Alerts Valid until date of commercial release on Friday 6th September 2019

One of the best films I saw at the 40th Durban International Film Festival http://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/ was director Angus Gibson’s period gangster film Back of the Moon featuring an all-star South African cast including Lemogang Tsipa (The Eye in the Sky, Beyond the River) as the ruthless gangster Ghost.

Back of the Moon deservedly won Best South African Feature Film at DIFF 2019.

Back of the Moon is set in Sophiatown in 1958 as the South African Apartheid government are about to enforce removals of the Sophiatown residents out of the district to Meadowlands which is on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Director Angus Gibson captures all the brutal essence of a gangster film, with the notorious gang The Vipers causing havoc at the Back of the Moon, while Sophiatown’s local celebrity Eve Msomi glitters as the main act at the more upmarket Casablanca nightclub.

Eve and Badman one Fateful Night

Leader of the Vipers gang, Badman orders his henchmen to grab Eve as she dazzles the crowd on a fateful night, so he can seduce her. Eve is on the verge of leaving for London to start a new life with her kind manager but as they plan to escape the brutality of Apartheid South Africa in the 1950’s which threatens to strip Sophiatown of its precarious glamour and all that it represents, they inadvertently get caught up in a fateful night they will never forget.

In a wonderful scene between Badman and Eve, he makes her a couple of tea and Eve replies by saying “I didn’t know gangsters make tea.”

Badman has to contest with Eve’s boxer boyfriend while Ghost makes a dangerous bid to control the Vipers. Ghost is brilliantly played by Lemogang Tsipa whose lethal addiction to the gangster life takes its toll on all those around him.

The Viper Gang

Back of the Moon is gorgeously filmed, extremely well-acted and offers a unique and often forgotten snapshot of the half demolished ghetto Sophiatown before it was obliterated from its location while the ambiance and memories of Sophiatown linger on in the collective national psyche filled with elegy and brutality.

Sophiatown in 1958 the scene of Back of the Moon

21st century audiences must view Back of the Moon as a period gangster film, with the femme fatale, the evil gangster and all those caught in between, a sort of South African retro version of director Barry Levinson’s Oscar winning 1991 American gangster film Bugsy starring Warren Beatty, Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening.

Back of the Moon gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is one of the best South African period films about Sophiatown and will surely add to South Africa’s growing and impressive film canon.

Highly recommended viewing but not for sensitive viewers due to some disturbingly violent scenes.

Trust in the Universe

Men in Black International

Director: F. Gary Gray

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Kayvan Novak

The Fate of The Furious and Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray desperately tries to reunite the Men in Black franchise first initiated by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. The long awaited reinvention, Men in Black International is a slight misnomer as the two Men in Black are Agent H for Henry played by Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Thor, The Avengers) and Agent M for Molly played by Hemsworth’s Thor Ragnorak co-star Tessa Thompson.

Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Howard’s End, Sense and Sensibility) pops up periodically as Agent O who promises Agent M that they are working on The Men in Black title? A possible feminist reinvention?

While director F. Gary Gray methodically ticks all the right boxes in this bizarre space action film which moves swiftly from New York to London, Paris and Marrakesh, he fails to uplift this film to the quirky originality of the first Men in Black possibly because of the over-exposure of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.

Their onscreen chemistry worked in Thor: Ragnarok but starts to wear dangerously thin in Men in Black International.

Thompson lands up playing the smart New Yorker next to Hemsworth’s dashing clean shaven pin up boy Agent H who feels nothing at sleeping with aliens or wearing pink trousers in a rather bizarre sequence on an Italian island with a vampish Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Greatest Showman) as a three armed intergalactic weapons dealer Riza.

Men in Black International is a fun film, but the aliens play second fiddle to the real conflict between the humans in a fairly predictable story about a malevolent force planning on attacking planet Earth. Naturally the new 21st century Men and Women In Black are suited and booted to protect the population from the scum of the universe.

Men In Black International gets a film rating of 6 out of 10 and could have been so much smarter, funnier and inspiring, but instead comes off as a paint by numbers diversity sci-fi action comedy which ticks all the boxes even those that don’t exist.

MIB International is saved by Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) and Liam Neeson (Cold Pursuit, The Commuter, Taken) although even their performances are lacklustre in a messy storyline saved by exotic locations and slick gadgetry.

Audiences should not expect a return to form or onscreen chemistry which the original 1997 film produced or the 2002 and 2012 sequels all directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

An Elemental Surprise

Spiderman: Far From Home

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Cobie Smulders, Zendaya, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori

Spiderman: Homecoming 38 years old director Jon Watts returns with a sequel Spiderman: Far From Home which follows directly on from Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel so theoretically this film is strictly for Marvel fans who have been following the series of MCU films.

British rising star Tom Holland reprises his role as the geeky school kid Peter Parker aka Spiderman and this time we join him and his friends on a summer science trip to Europe taking in the best locations including Venice, Prague and Berlin.

However at the insistence of Aunt May, wonderfully played by Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) Peter Parker packs his Spiderman suit for the trip to the continent.  As predicted the moment they are in Venice enjoying the canals a mysterious elemental force wreaks havoc on the Venetian waterways and is miraculously saved by Mysterio aka Quentin Beck wonderfully played with a sly malevolence by Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain).

Naturally the impressionable Peter Parker trusts Quentin Beck with some sophisticated technology produced by Stark industries only for Mysterio to go all Donnie Darko on us.

Nick Fury played with relish by Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) enlists the help of the awkward school going kid Peter Parker to save Europe from total destruction specifically London and Venice. Spiderman must not only figure out who the real enemy is but also pluck up the courage to kiss the love of his life MJ played by Zendaya (The Greatest Showman) and trust her enough to reveal his true identity.

Humour in Spiderman: Far From Home is provided by Flash Thompson played by Guatemalan-American actor Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) who has some witty one liners and Spiderman’s father figure is played by Happy Hogan played zest by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).

What makes Spiderman: Far from Home so brilliant are the dazzling visual effects especially displayed with professional dexterity in the film’s second half. Gyllenhaal is brilliant as the crazy computer genius Quentin Beck and is a perfect foil to the charming but insatiably awkward Spiderman for the Instagram generation wonderfully acted by Tom Holland who beats Tobey Maguire in the Sam Riami trilogy and the doomed casting of Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spiderman.

In any event, the amount Disney paid Sony to use Spiderman in the Marvel Avengers cinematic universe is worth its weight in gold judging by how fill a Saturday matinee was at the theatre.

Spiderman: Far from Home gets a Film Rating of 8 out of 10 and is worth seeing for the brilliant visual effects, great onscreen chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Holland and a perfect action adventure film which will surely inspire the millennials to embrace this crazy web slinger who likes taking selfies as he flies around Manhattan skyscrapers.

A World Without The Beatles

Yesterday

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Joel Fry, Ellise Chappell, Ed Sheeran, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kate McKinnon, James Corden 

Thanks to a preview screening organized by United International Pictures at Suncoast Cinecentre, Durban, I was fortunate enough to see Oscar winning director Danny Boyle’s latest film Yesterday with a screenplay by Love Actually writer Richard Curtis.

Imagine a world without The Beatles Songs? Or a world without Coca-Cola and Cigarettes? Or Even Harry Potter?

This is the premise of screenwriter Richard Curtis’s latest romantic musical comedy Yesterday directed by Oscar winning director of Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle and starring Himesh Patel as Jack Malik a struggling musician and Lily James (The Darkest Hour, Cinderella) as his long suffering manager Ellie Appleton set mainly in Suffolk, England.

After an inexplicable worldwide blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus and wakes up missing two teeth and in a sort of alternative reality whereby he soon realizes that this world does not know any of The Beatles songs including Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, All You Need is Love and Back in the U.S.S. R.

As Jack played with a sort of goofy naivety by East Enders star Himesh Patel starts initially playing a Beatles song to his parents Sheila and Jed played by Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar (London Boulevard, The Kumars at No. 42), he is astonished that they have never heard of the most influential and greatest pop band in the world, The Beatles. Then Jack has to remind himself that he is living in an alternative universe which distracts him from the real love of his life Ellie who has constantly supported him throughout his struggling music career. 

Lily James is brilliant as Suffolk maths teacher Ellie and she lifts the film from being a completely contrived musical fantasy into a semi-believable cinematic offering which allows director Danny Boyle to use all his artistic embellishments to make Yesterday more invigorating than what it really is.

Yesterday is a 21st century slightly contrived musical tribute to The Beatles set in the Instagram age of political correctness and diversity where even the likes of singer Ed Sheeran cannot lift the humour in this film with the exception of one funny scene when Sheeran visits Jack late at night at his family home and encounters his irritating yet lovable dad Jed, wonderfully played with comic timing by Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Ultimately, Yesterday is about a lingering love affair between Ellie and Jack as he is seduced by the fame and fortune associated with lucrative streaming contracts in California in the form of a vampish American music manager Debra Hammer played by Kate McKinnon.

Despite the musical tribute to the Beatles and the quirky plot, Yesterday didn’t quite resolve itself as a satisfying film even with some comic moments. Yesterday gets a film rating of 7 out of 10. Recommended viewing for those that enjoy a light romantic musical comedy.

The Disciplined Dancer

The White Crow

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Cast: Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann, Adele Exarchopoulos, Raphael Personnaz, Chulpan Khamatova, Zach Avery

Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler’s List) directs this elegant ballet biopic of acclaimed Russian male dancer Rudolph Nureyev who defected to France in 1961.

Oleg Ivenko plays the volatile but supremely talented ballet dancer Nureyev who dreams only of dancing in the West. This opportunity arises when the Kirov ballet company does a tour to Paris in London in 1961. While in Paris, Nureyev desperately tries to escape the surveillance of the repressive soviet regime who jealously watch the Kirov’s Ballet’s every move.

The Leningrad Ballet company comes out of a bleak soviet society under the rule of Krushev to the glamour of Paris in the early 1960’s where a handful of Soviet ballet dancers led by the audacious Nureyev socializes with French ballerina’s and intellectuals led by Clara Saint, wonderfully played by Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour).

With a screenplay by Oscar nominated screenwriter David Hare (The Hours, The Reader) based upon Julie Kavanaugh’s book Rudolf Nureyev: A Life, The White Crow is mostly subtitled with dialogue in Russian and French and is strictly for ballet fans.

The White Crow could have been edited slightly and while the transformation plot is elegantly told, the acting by the mostly Russian and French cast is extremely good and the tension in the film is heightened during the dramatic defection that Rudolf Nureyev does at a Paris airport filmed in extreme close up with Fiennes behind the camera taking control of the diplomatic action brilliantly.

There are some exquisite ballet sequences in The White Crow but what I loved about this film was its depiction of the transformation of Rudolf Nureyev from a shy Soviet peasant boy into one of the most audacious and beautifully talented male ballet dancers of the 20th century, a role that Oleg Ivenko pulls off beautifully highlighting his artistic volatility, his discipline as a dancer and his unyielding ambition, in which he had to sacrifice his country and family to achieve international stardom, something Nureyev was determined to achieve.

The White Crow subtly hints at Nureyev’s homosexuality but in an effortlessly way especially his love affair with East German dancer Teja Kremke played with stark beauty by German actor Louis Hofmann (Red Sparrow). French rising star Raphael Personnaz (Anna Karenina) also stars as one of the French male ballet dancers Pierre Lacotte who plays a crucial role in Nureyev’s defection to the West.

If you love ballet and would like to learn more about the early life of Rudolf Nureyev then this film is highly recommended. The White Crow gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 will appeal to a niche audience. An elegant biopic without any of the usual Hollywood flashiness.

The Flamboyant Pianist

Rocketman

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Charlie Rowe, Tate Donovan, Steve Mackintosh, Tom Bennett

Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher reunites with his star Taron Egerton in the Elton John Musical fantasy drama Rocketman with Egerton taking on the daunting task of playing a still living musical icon, Sir Elton John.

Rocketman chronicles the early life and rise to stardom of Elton John, his abandonment issues that he had with his father, his overpowering sense of worthlessness that he felt at the hands of his dominating mother, wonderfully played against type by Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World).

All these issues, coupled with his unique piano playing abilities proved that he is a talented musician destined for superstardom. However that stardom which Elton John achieved came at a price, as he has terrible addiction issues with drugs and alcohol which director Dexter Fletcher chooses to emphasize.

Essentially Rocketman focuses on addiction and interweaves Elton John’s personal journey with that of musical fantasy a different approach to director Brian Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody which stuck to a chronological account of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury and his interactions with his band. Bohemian Rhapsody is a far superior film than Rocketman especially saved by an Oscar winning performance by Rami Malek.

Rocketman has some good performance and Taron Egerton does a good job of portraying a living musical legend Elton John a flamboyant showman, a glamorous pianist with a penchant for outrageous outfits who is not only struggling with his addiction issues but with his homosexuality in the form of his toxic love affair with former manager John Reid played by Richard Madden (Cinderella). It is really Billy Elliott star Jamie Bell’s sympathetic performance as Elton John’s best friend and song writer Bernie Taupin who supports Elton through thick and thin, which gives the film some insightful emotional depth.

Notable cameo’s include Vanity Fair star Charlie Rowe as Ray Williams and Tate Donovan as Californian music organizer Doug Weston. Rocketman features flamboyant costumes, foot tapping music and a great performance by Taron Egerton and will definitely appeal to audiences that enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody.

Rocketman is a musical drama that focuses more on the perils of excess and the struggles with addiction than on Elton John’s fantastic musical abilities and is not a biopic but an imaginative musical fantasy which gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

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