‘Elvis’ review: Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic style overpowers Austin Butler’s Elvis character

Luhrmann’s most relevant works include the visually striking musical “Moulin Rouge!”, which offers clear stylistic similarities.However, using the raucous, surreal aspects of 2001’s romantic fantasy to conflict with the demands of a biographical film, drowning out substance with fast-paced and frenetic editing that undercuts the emotion of Butler’s live performance, has Presley’s family hugs If only there was room to breathe, it would be a presenter.
Although The Life of Elvis Presley It has been documented in various projects, the main precedent here seems to be the 1993 TV movie “Elvis and the Colonel” which focused on the relationship between the star and his manager/manager Colonel Tom Parker, with Beau Bridges chosen as the latter . Parker was a colorful, shady figure whose control sparked accusations of serious financial shenanigans that didn’t come to light until after Presley’s death in 1977.

Here, Luhrmann (who shared the script with three others, nearly a decade after his last film The Great Gatsby) made the near-fatal mistake of telling the story primarily from Parker’s point of view. This puts the spotlight on a heavily made-up Hanks — in an accent that could be described as punishing at best — who acts as the narrator and addresses the audience directly.

“I’m the one for Elvis to the world,” Parker boasted, adding, “Me and Elvis, we’re partners.”

“Elvis” thus begins at a pivotal stage in Parker’s entry into Presley’s life, as he is launching his singing career in the area. But Parker’s frame of reference has less to do with music — in fact, he’s largely indifferent to it — but the appeal of carnival, almost when he discovers the powerful effect of Elvis’ spin on the women of the crowd. mouth watering.

Despite the creative and professional restraints Parker placed on him, which still left room for Presley’s astonishing rise, Luhrmann’s approach to narrative didn’t really develop the characters, including Presley’s inclusion to a certain extent. myself. The scene flies so fast that even Elvis’ wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge), parents (Helen Thomson and “Moulin Rouge!” alumna Richard Roxburgh ) and friends in Memphis were also name checked, but barely registered, even though a movie ran for more than 2.5 hours.

where did all the time go? Much of it was devoted to meticulously replicating Presley’s performance, including detailing his acclaimed 1968 NBC special, which gave Butler’s accurate imitation a chance to shine. But efforts to link Presley’s journey to events such as the devastating ’60s assassinations and race relations are overshadowed by narrative ambiguity, and it doesn’t help that Parker’s glib dialogue, “Is it my fault the world has changed? ?”

At the very least, the film helps rekindle an appreciation for Presley’s talent, which will dust off many hits and hum those classic tunes. It’s impressive, however, to see Butler’s approximation of a king yelling “Suspicious Minds,” “Elvis,” and the like, and ultimately fall into a trap of his own making.

“Elvis” will premiere in U.S. theaters on June 24 and be distributed by Warner Bros., along with CNN, which is part of Warner Bros. Discovery. It is rated PG-13.

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