Here, Luhrmann (who shares script credits with three others, nearly a decade after his previous film “The Great Gatsby”), makes an almost fatal error of storytelling, primarily from Parker’s point of view. It emphasizes the heavily made Hanks – adopting an accent that could be described as pun – acting as the narrator and addressing the audience directly.
“I am the man who gave the world Elvis Presley,” Parker claims, “me and Elvis, we were partners.”
“Elvis” thus begins at the crucial stage when Parker comes into Presley’s life as he begins his singing career regionally. But Parker’s frame of reference has less to do with the music—in fact, he’s largely indifferent to it—than the carnival attraction, almost salivating when he identifies the powerful influence that Elvis has had on the crowd. Happens on women.
While the creative and professional bond that Parker placed on him still leaves room to chart Presley’s illustrious rise, Luhrmann’s narrative approach doesn’t really develop the characters, including, to an extent, Presley. myself included. The scenes move so fast that the poses of Elvis’ wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJong), parents (Helen Thomson and “Moulin Rouge!” alum Richard Roxburgh) and Memphis friends are name-checked, but barely register. , despite a film that runs for more than two and a half hours.
Where does the time go? Much of this is devoted to careful imitations of Presley’s performances, including an elaborate rendition of his acclaimed 1968 NBC special, which gives Butler’s unmatched mimicry an opportunity to shine. But attempts to contextualize Presley’s journey of the ’60s with events like catastrophic murders and race relations are obscured by narrative haze, which isn’t helped by brilliant dialogue like Parker’s, “Is it my fault that the world changed Is?”
At the very least, the film helps to rekindle Presley’s appreciation of talent, in which many would dust off great-hits collections and hum those classic tunes. Yet as impressive as it is to see Butler tell King about something like a “suspicious mind,” “Elvis,” eventually falls entirely into the trap of his own making.
“Elvis” will premiere in US theaters on June 24, and is being released by Warner Bros. on the lines of CNN, a unit of Warner Bros. It has got PG-13 rating.