From the opening scene containing the beautiful vocals of “Suspicious Minds,” to the ending credits, I did not take my eyes off the screen.
By Katie Havens / Matthew Staff || Edited by Ella Schale
With the release of a two-hour and thirty-nine-minute movie, one might expect to lose interest over the course of the story. However, “Elvis,” managed to keep me enraptured for all 159 minutes; and by the silence apparent in the theater the first time I watched it, other people thought so too.
Elvis Presley is objectively one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century, making it extremely difficult to produce a movie that does justice to his life and career. Somehow, director Baz Luhrmann’s movie not only managed to pull it off but did it in a graceful and aesthetically pleasing manner.
From the opening scene containing the beautiful vocals of “Suspicious Minds,” to the ending credits, I did not take my eyes off the screen. The movie follows Elvis throughout his life and shows how his relationships with his manager “Colonel Tom Parker,” his wife, his mother, and even himself, develop.
His quick rise to fame brought him wealth and euphoria, but not without an equal amount of struggle. Not only does this movie portray known facts about the icon, but it formulates them in a way that adds flare value.
Much of this flare comes from the film’s mesmerizing visual effects, which must have cost a fortune to execute. Sure enough, a whopping $85 million dollar were put into this film, and it is apparent that every penny was used wisely.
Paired with these extravagant visual effects, the soundtrack enhanced the beautiful nature of the film. One of the most well-known songs on this soundtrack is Doja Cat’s “Vegas” which adds a glimmer of rap to Elvis’ “Hound Dog.” Needless to say, the soundtrack and visuals were crucial elements for the success of this film.
The accurate depiction of the rockstar Elvis Presley is attributed to Austin Butler’s performance. We are all familiar with the distinct voice and moves of the famous Elvis Presley, and being able to replicate them is not an easy task.
Butler began his process of method acting three years before filming, watching old performance tapes, and getting Elvis’ mannerisms just right. Most of the singing throughout the film is Butler’s voice, which was surprising as it sounds identical to the rockstar. Additionally, Elvis’ famous “wiggle” is a fundamental part of his career and subsequently the film, and Butler did not fail to execute it.
It is to no surprise that Butler won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture, and is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Butler exceptionally plays his role, and how he put his entire soul into his act as Elvis does not go unnoticed.
The combination of visual effects, music and Austin Butler’s unforgettable performance makes “Elvis” a must-see movie, and its eight Academy Award nominations confirm it so—even if it didn’t take any statue home.