Elvis: One for the Ages

Nothing short of spectacular, "Elvis" caught us off guard with its highly-entertaining and cautionary tale on the life of Elvis Presley that is as relevant as it was back in the day. This film, in fact, wasn't your run-of-the-mill biography and had a few surprises up it sleeves in how it presented the life and the legend that is Elvis. It may not be perfect and it may not be for everyone (at almost three hours long) but if you're up for one of the best on-screen portrayals we have seen ever and music set pieces that take you right then and there, then "Elvis" will be your cup of tea. 

When Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) has a stroke in 1997, we see him in the hospital as he recounts how he discovered, nurtured, helped, and maintained the career of Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) to unreachable heights for more than two decades until Elvis' sudden death at the age of 42. But is Parker really telling the truth as Elvis sees it or is he seeing it through his own rose-tinted glasses?

If there's one reason to invest your time on "Elvis" it would be Austin Butler as Elvis Presley. This was a career-defining performance for him and we'll be shocked if he doesn't get offers after his eerily-accurate, powerful, and moving portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll. Out of all the actors who have recently portrayed real-life musicians, Austin Butler easily is our top choice. It's not even recency-bias but he was just that good. Critically, the film was able to back up Austin Butler's effort with epic set pieces, a unique visual style, and cinematography that really takes audiences right smack dab inside these musical performances. If we could best describe it, it was as if either you were right there on stage with Elvis or went back in time to see him perform on an era-made television. Think of "Bohemian Rhapsody's" Live Aid portrayal and multiple this several times and you'll see how well-made this film was. 

Beyond the music and acting, we also loved that the film doesn't take a straight-forward approach in presenting the life of Elvis. In fact, we see his journey through the eyes of his long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker (portrayed by Tom Hanks). Its a biased take on how he had molded Elvis' career and it further punctuates the film's complicated cautionary tale on being careful who you really trust. Admittedly, the film had some shortcomings. Most glaring of this was how the passage of time was presented - or how it was actually sorely missing. We think it was a missed opportunity to have no anchor on the day-to-day struggles of Elvis especially early in his career. One day he's a truck driver then in a span of a few scenes, he's already buying Graceland. Overall, even with its setbacks, for those who expect a solid musical drama, "Elvis" will perfectly satiate your needs and probably more.    

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- Austin Butler as Elvis was mesmerizing and true-to-life
- The musical performances were godly-amazing and the best reason why you should see "Elvis" 

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- at almost three hours long, this biopic might be too slow for some
- the film had a tendency to not

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