Austin Butler Rejuvenate Elvis Presley in biopic: The difficulty of playing Elvis Presley is formidable. There are countless adoring, protective followers who will scrutinize each gesture and pout.
‘Elvis’ shines on silver screen just as real-life singer did on stage
Don Johnson portrayed the King in the 1981 film “Elvis and the Beauty Queen,” Michael Shannon did so in the 2016 film “Elvis and Nixon,” and David Keith did so in the 1988 film “Heartbreak Hotel,” to name just a few.
Kurt Russell’s performance in “Elvis,” a 1979 TV movie directed by John Carpenter, received arguably the greatest praise (and rightfully so).
Now, a 30-year-old actor named Austin Butler has offered us his take on the renowned musician in the new theatrical picture “Elvis,” and he has simply hit the ball out of the park.
Butler is arguably best known for his performance as Charles Manson follower Tex Watson in “Once Upon a Time….in Hollywood.”
Oscar-winning co-star Tom Hanks and celebrated writer/director Baz Luhrmann (“Romeo + Juliet,” “The Great Gatsby”) elevate the film even further.
Presley’s well-known “TCB” (“Taking Care of Business”) emblem, which merges into the Warner Bros. shield, makes a strong visual statement at the start of the movie.
The singer’s aged former manager Col.
Tom Parker (a very substantially fabricated Tom Hanks), who is now close to death and anxious to clear his name as either a cunning charlatan or someone who has the singer’s best interests at heart, then appears.
Hanks, incidentally, spent between two and a half and five hours per day in the makeup chair to create the appearance of the bulky promoter.
The script was written by Luhrmann, frequent collaborator Craig Pearce, Sam Bromell (“The Get Down”), and Jeremy Doner (“The Killing”), and it moves along at a fast clip with lots of narration from the colonel and a cast of characters in an effort to cover the more significant events in the singer’s life in two hours and 39 minutes.
Richard Foxburgh and Helen Thompson, who play Vernon and Gladys, introduce us to the boy’s parents.
The two Australian performers took the place of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell, who were compelled to leave the production after it was halted for six months in the early stages of COVID-19.
We hear about Elvis’ upbringing, about the local Black musicians who influenced him musically in his youth, and we see him play at his debut concert, when the apprehensive artist unleashes his physical presence on an unprepared crowd that is quickly hooked. (Some of the female concertgoers’ reactions are priceless.)
Hanks fully exploits Parker’s immense talents as a promoter in this movie, particularly in a scene at a country fair where he performs a sort of dance with his potential new client—first in a disorienting hall of mirrors attraction, then on a Ferris wheel.
The colonel is an equal character in this movie. Throughout the film, Luhrmann’s extensive visual talents are on full display, whether they are being used to create scenes at a carnival, a career-changing meeting at the Hollywood Sign, or an on-stage practice for Presley’s Las Vegas residency.
Everything is breathtakingly beautiful and highly visual.
I occasionally questioned if I was watching newsreel footage of the genuine events rather than new sequences for a movie because the reproduction footage of those well-known shows at the International Hotel and the famed 1968 comeback TV special was filmed so accurately.
Butler worked with a movement coach to replicate Presley’s on-stage mannerisms, kicks, karate chops, and other motions. Butler was chosen for the Elvis part over actors like Miles Teller and Harry Styles.
It’s almost frightening how well he portrays the King’s presence.
He has the potential to be both vulnerable and seductive.
Presley’s voice is occasionally mixed in with Butler’s singing of some of the early Elvis tunes. The songs from the later era are all authentic Presley recordings.
WATCH: Actors discuss Elvis Presley
The plot advances swiftly, as was already indicated, and at times nearly feels frantic.
Many events are just briefly mentioned or skipped over because it’s difficult to portray such a remarkable life and career in just a little over two and a half hours.
Although Priscilla Presley (played admirably by Olivia DeJonge of “The Visit”) is mentioned in the narrative, just like many other events in Elvis’ life, she could have been the subject of a stand-alone film.
This film succeeds on many levels, including its amazing portrayal of Elvis Presley in several eras and its examination of the difficulties he faced in his personal and professional life.
It also offers a closer look at the manager who controlled the performer for more than 20 years.
Additionally, “Elvis” features some very stunning concert shots that give the spectator the impression that they are sitting front and center for some famous performances.