Elvis Baz Luhrmann is a cacophonous, tedious hodgepodge of contradictions.

It’s loud, tiresome and annoying, but sometimes it’s pure brilliance and craftsmanship. What a mix of contradictions.

In the 30 years since Baz Luhrmann broke into the art scene with the Strictly Ballroom project, every Australian has an idea of ​​what kind of experience they will have with the Luhrmann project.

It will be bold and irreverent as Romeo and Juliet or extravagant and emotionally big, like Moulin rougeor it will be unashamedly over the top and pretentious as The Great Gatsby.

Whatever Luhrmann does, there’s a thick sheen of Basian brilliance and over-indulgence in it, and your assessment of that will vary.

There is a good chance that you have decided on Luhrmann a long time ago, and there is nothing on Earth that can hold you back or come close to you. Elvisthe latest performance from a visionary director.

Elvis is a classic Luhrmann in many ways. Unrestrained, exuberant, demanding, aggressive, generous, luxurious, infuriating, explosive and exhausting – and sometimes all at the same time.

Luhrmann always makes important choices, and all those decisions are screaming from the screen.

There are aspects Elvis it’s cinematic craftsmanship, and there are other parts that are hold. It’s a mess of contradictions, and also… just a mess.

It’s narratively out of focus, characterization is wildly inconsistent, and some of the cinematic choices are confusing. But while it can be stunning and ruthless, there’s real genius in its noisy packaging.

From the discovery of the king of rock and roll until the end of his life. ElvisThe highlight is Austin Butler’s candid and pulsating performance. The young American actor is simply phenomenal.

Presley is one of the most transformative figures in the world, so the challenge has always been to bring something beyond mimicry to the role. It’s not enough that Butler can sing a tune in his deep, penetrating voice, or dance and spin with an unstoppable, maddening verve—and he does.

Butler, Luhrmann, and co-writers Sam Bromell, Craig Pierce, and Jeremy Doner created a version of Presley that is seen as layered and, above all, human.

Butler has captured the essence of Presley, who digs much deeper than icon status—it’s a character that exists away from the stage and cameras, away from the performative aspects of his life. He and co-star Olivia DeJong as Priscilla Presley are magnetic, and their sexual chemistry is searing.

When he’s on screen, Butler owns every inch of the frame. It’s a mesmerizing twist that transcends the recent biopics of Rami Malek and Taron Egerton, and it’s hard to see how Elvis doesn’t make Butler one of the most interesting talents of his generation.

No wonder Priscilla Presley called Butler’s interpretation of Presley “outstanding.”

The same can’t be said for Tom Hanks Colonel Tom Parker, a flat villain with a one-note mustache. A rare mistake by Hanks, it’s a caricature, not a character, and there’s nothing like nuance.

Colonel Tom Parker is the main reason why Elvis it can be so aggravating. The character is the one who creates the frame of the film, and his voice-over brings attention to each scene. It’s like a pest that you want to get rid of in order to get back to Butler’s performance.

It’s a conflict within Elvis. There are always several parts competing for your attention. You want to look at Butler, but you have to put up with Hanks. You want to bask in Catherine Martin’s excellent design and costumes, but you have to contend with Luhrmann’s dizzying direction to appreciate it.

Elvis it’s a film that requires you to work, stripping away all of Baz’s distractions to get to the emotional, surprisingly down-to-earth essence of the man in the circus. But it drags you down until all your energy is exhausted.

Of course, you don’t get that Butler performance or the intoxicating intensity of some of his most hectic scenes without Luhrmann’s exceptional instincts as a director. As with any manic, cacophonous work by Luhrmann, you must embrace any annoying flaws with brilliance.

Rating: 2.5/5

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