Austin Butler’s portrayal of the World’s Greatest Entertainer is right on target, says Truck driver/Elvis Tribute Artist Mike Murchison. Photo: Warner Bros.
by Mike Murchison
I took in the 12:00pm showing today here in Lethbridge. Good choice, as there were only a handful attending. Maybe the crowds in my neck of the woods have already witnessed it, or it could be that they were waiting to attend the evening showings.
None the less, I made sure I was going to watch with an open mind.
I didn’t come loaded with preconceived notions and expectations. Nor did I come with all the years I had following Mr. Presley’s music, which I quickly grew to embrace as a thirteen-year-old kid growing up in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto.
Nor did I come with my experience of dabbling in the beloved world of ETA festivals (Elvis Tribute Artists). Which will in no doubt continue to expand and just as Mr. Presley himself become a staple of our culture.
The movie is fast paced, spanning the life, milestones, stresses, joys and heartbreaks of the most famous entertainer to walk the earth.
The story for the most part was accurate, down to the details of the wardrobe, which was expected, having the technical assistance of many of the people who served with Elvis on this “rocket to eternity.”
The portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker by Tom Hanks is nothing short of brilliant, and it left me with the idea that I had just witnessed, as a fly on the wall would have witnessed, what went down in some very critical periods during the relationship of Parker and Presley.
Hanks’ portrayal nailed home what show business is all about: a commodity. Promoting it, selling it and reaping the spoils. At the very least, I’m sure Hanks had a very clear understanding of the push-pull/up-down/screw you/please come back dysfunctional relationship that surely went on with Park and Presley.
And what about Austin Butler? Simple. He gets it. His portrayal of the greatest entertainer in the world is right on target. From his physical build to the costumes to mannerisms all sent this viewer to the place I’m sure Baz Luhrmann was hoping to send me. Into the world of what was Mr. Presley, Mr. Parker and all those who rode on that comet’s tail.
I’m sure that the performances given by the cast as well as the work put in by Luhrmann for directing will find its way to the Oscars.
There are some powerful moments. Scenes that brought this viewer back to periods where I actually saw them when they were unfolding in the life of Mr. Presley.
Time goes by so slowly…and time can do so much.
Yes Mr. Luhrmann, it does. The millions of fans of Mr. Presley who have for years kept his legacy, music and image alive thank you, Mr. Hanks and Mr. Butler for creating a film that will no doubt satisfy those throngs of Presley fans and attract new ones.
It’s hard to believe that at one point in his life Presley worried that he would be forgotten. That he hadn’t created anything substantial.
On the contrary. I need not say anything further. It’s worth laying down your money.
TCB Mr. Luhrmann, Mr. Hanks and Mr. Butler. You’ve done well.