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Austin Butler Makes It Feel Like Elvis Never Left The Building

By Mohana Soman 24 June, 2022 2 min read
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Austin Butler Makes It Feel Like Elvis Never Left The Building

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, now in theatres, endeavours to shed light on the King’s life and times, by focusing on the relationship he shared with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The film stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge and Kelvin Harrison Jr. Luhrmann attempts to capture Presley’s rise to fame and his subsequent slide in signature fashion, with all the lights, glitter and pizzazz of something larger than life.

The diamond in the rough

The film traces Elvis’ life from his humble beginnings. It covers his love for music, his love for his family. But every story has a villain and the villain of Elvis’ story is Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The very picture of indulgence and greed, Parker gets his hooks into the talented Elvis as soon as he starts performing at the age of 18.

In ‘Elvis’, Elvis Presley is a beloved musician and icon who lived unlike mortals. He’s a god in his own right, a singing, dancing, acting, phenomenon who seemed to not be weighed down by human constraints. He’s an opulent enigma, who’s attached to a handful of things. First, his music and his mother. Later, his wife, Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge) and daughter, Lisa Marie.

It’s very easy to forget that a person exists behind the shine and sparkle of fame, and that’s exactly what Luhrmann wants to show the audience. Elvis Presley’s descent into paranoia about his safety is a product of Parker’s machinations and the political atmosphere of 1960s America. Parker engineers circumstances to fund his own gambling addiction and repeatedly takes advantage of Presley during his career.

When Presley sings however, with his 30-piece orchestra and two groups of back-up vocalists, he’s the closest he can be to freedom. Which is tragic, because Parker does everything he can to clip his wings.

The film is narrated by Colonel Tom Parker in his final days and despite his best efforts to disprove his villainy, he ends up revealing himself as the villain. But being led through Elvis’ life through Parker’s perspective shows Presley the way that Parker views him — a shining, undying star with light to spare.

Austin Butler will get you all shook up

This film would be nowhere and nothing without its excellent cast. Tom Hanks knows how to push all the right buttons and his grotesque portrayal of Parker will make you cringe. Olivia DeJonge plays Priscilla Presley like she was born to do it.

Austin Butler, however, should be the name on everyone’s lips. He’s cool, suave, confident and insanely talented as Elvis Presley. His renditions of Presley’s music (yes, he sang every single song) and his electric performances will draw you in. From the southern drawl to the way he wears his hair, he is Elvis in every single frame of the film. His commitment and dedication to the role is apparent in ‘Elvis’ and just like the real thing, he “makes you feel things you don’t think you should enjoy.” Butler is fearless as the King and embodies his voice, tone, physicality and personality to the best of his abilities. He’s delivered a stand-out performance that shouldn’t be missed for the world.

WATCH OR NOT
Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ will be the most electric three hours of your life. Walk in as an Elvis fan, walk out as an Elvis and Butler fan.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

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Tags: #Austin Butler#Elvis#Elvis Presley#Hollywood#tom hanks
Written by
Mohana Soman
Drinks chai, writes stuff. Always shorter than you thought in person.

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