ELVIS Review

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

*Spoiler Warning: Details about the movie are discussed.*

This year, a new movie was released about a man who changed the history of rock and roll: Elvis Presley.

ELVIS starts off from the point of view of Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker. From there, the film brings the audience through Elvis’ life journey. The film shows key moments in Elvis’ life

The importance of family is underscored in a compelling scene where Elvis’ family prays for Elivs’ twin brother Jessie, who died at birth. This scene is compelling because it shows how important family was to Elvis. The audience gets to see the special bond young Elvis had with his family, most notably his twin brother Jessie and his mother.

Elvis’ relationship with his mother shows the kind of heart Elvis had; one of the most impactful scenes in the Elvis movie is when Elvis cries in his mother’s closet after her passing. Elvis isn’t only crying out of sadness, but out of guilt because he believes that he killed her by joining the United States’ army. The audience getting to see this side of Elvis allows viewers to continue watching his story with compassion as Elvis is tricked by his manager, followed by a series of horrible and unfortunate events that will eventually contribute to his death.

 The film also goes on to show other important parts of not just Elvis’ life story, but our history. The film shows how Elvis’ father was arrested, resulting in Elvis and his mother needing to live in a lower-income neighbourhood which, because of this period in time, was a Black neighbourhood. What set Elvis apart from other performers of his time was his unique upbringing; as the film shows, Elvis was able to sing music that would be considered African-American style, which he “got away” with, because of his race.

The film highlights the ways in which opportunities were denied to people based on race. Elvis makes sure the audience understands this, with a scene at the very beginning of the film when two men are talking and discussing how there’s a record company trying to get the work of Black artists out there but no one will buy them. When Elvis’ song comes on they assume no one will pay him any attention because they think he is Black. This is all until someone brings up that Elvis is white. It then turns into a kind of marketing of, “a white man who can sing Black music.”

The film also does a remarkably good job at showing the racism in Elvis’ time by including scenes where direct segregation was happening at Elvis’ shows. This film really brings to light, just how recently segregation was occuring in North America.

ELVIS also did an incredible job at showing how its titular protagonist wanted to speak out about devastating historical events, such as the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Elvis didn’t want to be silent on these important issues and sing about nothing of heart or influence. He wanted to create music that he was passionate about while also being able to speak out about what was happening in America at the time.

 The movie ELVIS does so much more than show the main events of Elvis’ life, the movie managed to capture the soul and heart of who Elvis was.

Rating: 4.5/5

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