I’ve been listening to Elvis Presley songs since I was a young child. Hell, I had some 45s of his. No idea what happened to them though. 🙁 I’ve always loved the oldies, and though his style isn’t “oldies” like the Drifters or the Shirelles, he had his own lane that I loved.
In any case, who knew that Elvis had so much difficulty in his life? Watching this film was pretty heartbreaking. As I mentioned, I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was a kid, but I had no idea what he was going through back then. We didn’t have access to all this information that we do today when I was a kid. But it’s surprising that despite all his money and success, he was struggling.
I’m not sure how accurate the storytelling of his life is in this movie, but it was like a behind-the-scenes look at some of the stuff that I saw as a fan. For instance, I was aware of his residency in Las Vegas but I didn’t know that he was so unhappy with that. I remember seeing the Elvis comeback special years ago on VHS, I rented it from the library. But I had no idea that it was meant to be a Christmas special and all the madness that was happening behind the scenes.
We all knew that he was a bit of a player and that he had trouble with drugs due to the exhaustive schedule that he kept. But I had no idea that there was a Colonel Parker in the picture who was pulling the strings and potentially led to this man’s death. That dude was a horrible person, and so were Elvis’ friends and family who allowed him to be abused this way.
Without being told, how could anyone have even the slightest idea that Elvis might’ve felt that he didn’t really accomplish much in life? It’s 2023 and we are still talking about him! None of us will have that privilege when we are gone, we’ll be lucky if any relatives remember us 60 years from our death. Even so, Elvis felt like he didn’t do much, allegedly.
I have often heard people say that he stole black music and made it his own. But I really had no idea that he grew up in a black neighborhood, or that he was homies with BB King and attended those predominantly black events and was seemingly accepted. I thought I had read somewhere that he was actually racist, but based on this film, it does not appear to be the case at all. Again, I don’t know how true any of it is.
Tom Hanks, as always, did a spectacular job playing the greedy, evil manager, Colonel Parker. Austin Butler did a pretty convincing job as Elvis. The whole cast performed their roles well. You feel as though you are back in the days while watching the film. It was well done.
If you are a fan of Elvis, you will absolutely enjoy this film. I guess enjoying it is not the best way to describe it because it’s actually kind of heartbreaking and pretty difficult to watch at times. But it was good learning the true story, or as true as this version of the story is.
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.