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Elvis (2022)

Director:
Baz Luhrmann

COUNTRY
Australia/USA

Genre
Musical biopic

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Elvis

RUNNING TIME
159 minutes

Producers:
Baz Luhrmann
Catherine Martin
Gail Berman
Patrick McCormick
Schuyler Weiss

Screenwriters:
Baz Luhrmann
Sam Bromell
Craig Pearce
Jeremy Doner


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING

Elvis Presley

Austin Butler
Col. Tom Parker Tom Hanks

Priscilla Presley

Olivia DeJonge
Gladys Presley Helen Thomson -

Vernon Presley

Richard Roxburgh
B.B. King Kelvin Harrison Jr. -

Scotty Moore

Xavier Samuel -
Hank Snow David Wenham -

Jimmie Rodgers Snow

Kodi Smit-McPhee -

Jerry Schilling

Luke Bracey -

Steve Binder

Dacre Montgomery -

Tom Diskin

Leon Ford -

Little Richard

Alton Mason -

 

Review

Baz Luhrmann's biopic Elvis has become the loud, fast-cut spectacle one would have expected from the Australian filmmaker and then some. It opens with Elvis' long-standing manager Col. Parker (Tom Hanks) doing a Salieri on his deathbed (in what is a somewhat too obvious pillage of Amadeus), and then goes on to present the young Elvis' beginnings through a non-linear, feverish collection of vignettes, colour explosions and only very brief and underemphasized pieces of his actual music. After the film's first act, you've still only been transported into the world of Mr. Luhrmann, which arguably has little semblance to the world of Mr. Presley. I'd be surprised if the film by this point hasn't already alienated the bulk of senior viewers who were Elvis fans back in the singer's early days. But the patient ones are rewarded with two or three brilliantly conducted segments which are absolutely absorbing, not least Elvis' first performance of "Suspicious Minds" in Las Vegas. In these segments, although he doesn't look much like Elvis to begin with, an impressive Austin Butler embodies the King with heart and soul. And the vocal technique used, an amalgam of Presley's and Butler's voices, works brilliantly. This is just one of several impressive technical aspects in Elvis. Unfortunately, the dramatic aspects aren't equally engrossing. The film is remarkably ambitious artistically and visually, but not necessarily narratively. Luhrmann ends up treading too familiar and shallow waters, which serves only to uphold the mythical image we already have of Elvis. And even more problematic: the music always plays second-fiddle to Luhrmann's trademark visual antics a fine balance he nailed better with Moulin Rouge.

Copyright 13.08.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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