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All Shook Up by Latest Elvis Flick

September 13, 2022

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In June of 2022, actor Austin Butler took over the cinema world with his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the new biopic Elvis directed by Baz Luhmann. To me, this was going to be the movie of the summer and I was so excited to see it.

I wasn’t disappointed. This film is amazing and definitely lives up to the hype of its trailer. I love the covers of all of Elvis’s original songs thanks to Butler’s strong, deep singing voice which has a lot of similarities to Elvis’ while adding just a touch of modern pop.

This movie provides a detailed look into Elvis’ life, including how rose from humble beginnings to be one of the most famous singers in history. Luhmann does a fantastic job introducing how Elvis found his own voice through his music, while also showing how his fame and fateful decisions led to his early death from drug abuse at age 42.

The musical numbers sent chills down my spine. I was never a huge fan of Elvis or his music, but after watching this movie I have started listening to his music a lot more. I don’t normally cry during films, but this movie really struck a nerve with me. I felt so much sympathy for Elvis and what he was going through with his music career just taking off and the toll that his career took on his personal life.

Tom Hanks plays Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, used Elvis for money, working him like a dog for his own benefit. The movie details how Parker helped start Elvis on the drugs (which eventually claimed his life) as a way of keeping his energy up on stage just so he could continue to make more money.

Luhmann does a masterful job explaining how manipulative the music industry can be by showing that most managers just want to make money and don’t care about what happens to the artist. This is especially true for younger musicians because most are new to the music industry and are perfect targets for manipulation.

Butler’s playboy vibes make him the perfect fit for the role of Elvis. A similarity between the two that I feel might have helped Butler connect with Elvis is that they both lost their mothers around the same age. The film gives us a glimpse into Elvis’ childhood through imagery and flashbacks.

The way they described how Elvis felt when he was around music and even while performing his own was really enticing. Each performance had me in a trance with all of the lights, singing, costumes, and choreography. Shonka Dukureh, who plays Big Momma Thornton, provides a strong supporting role with incredible singing that brings the movie alive.

Another importnat supporting actor is Stranger Things’ Dacre Montgomery, who plays Steve Binder, another producer who helps Elvis prosper by letting him be free with his music instead of trying to force him into a cookie cutter rockstar look.

One thing today’s teens may find particular interesting about this film is that it explains the commotion Elvis caused in the 50’s with what was then considered to be provocative dancing. While many frowned on him for pushing the limits of society, his audience loved it. For Elvis, his fans were never far from his mind.

Elvis is still showing in some movie theaters, or can be seen on HBO Max with a subscription, or on pay-per-view on Amazon Prime.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Brie Ashnafi
Brie Ashnafi, Journalist

Brie is in the 11th grade and is in her first year of Journalism. She works at Chick-fil-A, babysits, and hopes to travel to Greece someday.

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