It’s everywhere, and Rocketman is on a different planet to other recent biopics. It’s a must see in my opinion for anyone who wants hope that there is a way out of whatever situation they are in.
The film is set against the backdrop of Elton’s addictions, in a group therapy session (where Elton played by Taron Egerton, sits resplendent in a devils costume complete with huge feathery wings and a cap with horns) reveals that he is an addict. The scenes, interspersed of course by spectacular clips of Elton performing, take us back to his childhood where his mother is strangely distant, his father is seemingly not interested in him, and only his grandmother seems to want to nurture the burgeoning piano playing talent.
This lack of affection means Elton is painfully insecure and it’s not until he changes his name and creates a new identity for himself that he can really feel successful, but as life spins out of control he is eventually forced to take a rain check on the partying and head for rehab.
I was struck by the anxiety portrayed in this film, despite the immense wealth and notoriety he was deeply unhappy, He was finally able to reinvent himself though and has been sober for 28 years, he said in an interview that six months before he got sober, he gave away or sold all his possessions, he said he must have had a premonition that his life was going to change. Change it did and Elton said in a recent interview about the film,
‘It’s a film about Redemption, about asking for help. I was ashamed of myself, but didn’t want to live like that, I wanted to become a good person, the person I didn’t know. The message is if you are in a bad way, ask someone for help, It’s difficult asking for help, but my life since I got sober has been quite the most amazing journey, I don’t have to wake up feeling like I don’t want to wake up’.
It’s a story of reinvention passion and a sort of salvation and as the final song I’m still standing says he’s a ‘true survivor’ I got to see it first at a press screening and it was lovely to see Zoe Ball there too, here we are – sober sisters!
If the movie encourages one person to ask for help for their anxiety, addiction or depression it will have done an amazing job. It reminded me of how important our families really are, in my podcast episode I speak about my own experience of family constellations, and how it changed my relationship with my own mother, in every family there are entanglements and past trauma that can still be having an impact on the present. The lovely thing about this movie is that Elton is able to forgive at the end, and I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say he is finally able to hug his younger self. The film is about much more than a rock n roll lifestyle which eventually crashed out, its much more about finding who he really was, As someone said recently on facebook (and I’m mortified that I can’t credit him or her cos I can’t find it again) ….
‘The goal isn’t to be sober, the goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t need to drink’
Rocketman (15) is out now
For anyone considering ditching the booze check out the Selfcare for the Sober Curious events, free monthly events in London with the charity My Yard with inspirational guests. https://bit.ly/2YHqfxT
Check out the Podcast Alcohol free life for some inspirational guests