Elvis the Pelvis (Sorry! Had to go there since I didn’t in my review) was an impressive talent. The film, though dressing up his life a bit more than it probably was, does a good job of showing you just how monumental of a talent he was. It also shows us how terrible someone who was supposed to care for him and his career, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks), could be. He put all of his trust in Parker but was treated so terribly that you’re shocked Elvis did as well as he did. In this biopic, you see that Elvis (Butler), for the most part, did as he was told. When other people finally came into his life, he matured and started to make his own path.
Luhrmann doesn’t hold anything back, focusing on what others never really have. He shines a light on the racism of the day and hones in on the fact that African Americans taught Elvis everything did. Growing up in the ghetto, he learned everything about singing and dancing from studying the black members of the local church. He then cultivated a style that would later move people to tears. A lot of folks believe that Elvis didn’t give them enough credit and should have. From watching the film, this could have been a decision made by Parker but not having that knowledge, I couldn’t say for sure. Parker was a compulsive gambler and a jerk to anyone who questioned him, so I can see that being the case.
Regardless, there is a lot to see in “Elvis” and a lot to discover, fan or not. I believe that if you’re a millennial or younger and or not a fan, after watching this, you’ll be digging into your parents’ and grandparents’ music collections and hearing what you’ve missed. Also, Butler’s performance is uncommonly good, which matches his beautiful face that’s irregularly close to the man he’s depicting for you. Academy Awards for all!