The film begins in 1997, where Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, is dying. He shares his experience with working with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Then the next scene switches to Elvis as a child, where he lives in a poor part of Mississippi. He goes to different places in his village with his friend, B.B. King, to find inspiration for music. But his parents won’t let him follow his dream, nor do they believe that he can provide them with more money.
Later, he hears a song called, “That’s All Right,” from a singer that he presumes is black. That is when Colonel Parker believes that he would make a great musician.
He meets Elvis at a carnival and would like to promote him. Elvis’s dad becomes the business manager, and his son will increase the family’s wealth.
Despite his popularity amongst many people, particularly women, the rest of the public has mixed opinions over his music. He is forced to perform the song, “Hound Dog” in a more modest suit and with a live dog to make it more family-friendly, after people were outraged by his original act of the song. That leaves him mad and humiliated, and he gets a new identity against his will, called the “new Elvis.”
It also disappoints his fans who want the “old Elvis” back. Eventually he follows his desire to return to his true self.
However, the authorities deem his acts too inappropriate. He is about to be sentenced to jail time. But Colonel Parker convinces the authorities to let him join the military instead, which he does.
It stresses his mother out so much that she drinks until she dies. Despite his grievance over the loss of his mom, Elvis sticks to his plan to enter the army, even though he has to fly to Germany.
He returns to the US with plans to act in movies, continue his singing career, and eventually marry a woman named Priscilla.
But Colonel Parker pushes Elvis into performances that make him uncomfortable, such as a holiday one, where he must sing, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” He sings his rock songs instead, thus angering Colonel Parker. Their relationship worsens throughout the rest of the movie. What will Elvis do?
The way the scenes play out in the film, especially for the first several minutes, switch from the present to the past numerous times. That left me a little bit confused, but not enough that I had trouble following the film.
The part where the ladies in the audience threw their underwear at Elvis after one of his first performances left a poor impression on me, even though that’s historically accurate. Women did that when they found men attractive. Hopefully, their underwear was clean and not worn.
There was also some racism, which displeased me. Yes, racism and segregation happened during the mid-20th century, especially in the south. But African Americans were portrayed as sounding unappealing when singing and having the large, stereotypical lips.
On the bright side, racism dies down, especially after Martin Luther King has fought for the rights of those who were not Caucasian. Coincidentally, the movie got better as it progressed.
I rooted for Elvis to be who he yearned to be. I especially felt sorry for him during the “family-friendly” act of “Hound Dog.” People in the audience said that he looked like a butler.
I especially supported the scene where he resisted singing “Here Comes Santa Claus,” since he did not consider that to portray his true self. He already suffered through the “new Elvis” phase.
I felt sorry for him a lot throughout the movie, even when he messed things up on purpose. But one thing I found bizarre was when he hugged Colonel Parker while crying over his mom’s death. That sounds weird and quite unsuitable to do with a manager.
Otherwise, I wanted to see Elvis follow his wish to pursue his rock and roll music career.
Despite this movie telling the story of Elvis Presley’s life, some moments were not true in real life. One was his relationship with B.B. King. The two were depicted as close friends, whereas in their actual childhood, they were only acquaintances.
I actually didn’t expect everything to be completely accurate in the movie since many films based off of true stories fictionalize, at least, some scenes.
Overall, the story engaged me, but mostly after the first half an hour. The movie runs for more than two and a half hours, which did make me lose my focus at times, especially the constant scene switching.
That is not to say that I can’t sit through movies that long. It is just that this movie did not keep my attention fully.
I give “Elvis” 3.5 out of 5 stars. But I would still recommend it to people who enjoyed Elvis and his music.
4 thoughts on “Review of “Elvis” (2022)”
I haven’t seen this movie yet but I want to. I’m a fan of Elvis and enjoy his music. My main complaint about movies that are based on true stories is that they add stuff that isn’t true, like his relationship with B.B. King that was added in this movie as you mentioned. Most Elvis movies that I have seen don’t show much of his relationship with Colonel Parker so that’s what made this movie different from the others. I’m a Tom Hanks fan so I will be interesting to see how he portrays Colonel Parker.
Glad to hear.
Thank you for the synopsis- I really am looking forward to seeing this movie!