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Some of this is really endearing, and I have to admit I shed half a tear at the end. I’m not sure the film can take much credit for that, though, as most of my goodwill towards it was just Elvis himself. Outside of that, I think a lot of it was actually quite poor. 

Some of the score felt like a contractual obligation rather than a creative choice, and some of the creative choices were just as strange and ill-fitting. In a lot of ways this was Colonel Parker’s story, as he narrates it and it even starts with him pleading that he’s not the bad guy. The problem is, he is. I don’t understand the point of having him narrate a story where he swears he isn’t the bad guy, just for the story to show that he is the bad guy. 

Aesthetically it all looked quite nice, and was probably what you’d expect from a Baz Luhrmann film. I don’t like using the phrase “style over substance” but I think it applies here – the only thing that holds up is how polished the visuals are. I feel there’s a lot more to Elvis’s story than that, and I think Baz Lurhmann would agree despite having made a film that barely scratches the surface.

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