Saturday Night’s Alright!
Hope reviews Rocketman and offers updates on riveting media happenings from this week.
Emma Boettcher Breaks Jeopardy Winner’s Streak
This week, Emma Boettcher, a librarian from Illinois, broke the reigning Jeopardy champion’s winning streak! Reportedly, James Holzhauer had won 32 Jeopardy games in a row, and was set to win his 33rd, when Boettcher won the round by answering a question about Christopher Marlowe correctly. Boettcher, an avid fan of Jeopardy, had apparently spent years researching the best strategies to win, and her hard work paid off! She won $46,801! What an accomplishment!
Beyoncé’s Themed Jumpsuit Channels the Circle of Life
At this week’s Wearable Art Gala hosted by Tina Knowles Lawson, Beyoncé appeared in a Georges Hobeika handmade jumpsuit themed after her upcoming appearance in Disney’s The Lion King. The jumpsuit featured a lion’s face in the center with a feathered lion’s mane extending from the face across Beyoncé’s shoulders. And if it couldn’t get any more stunning, the outfit included a flowing gold cape, giving Beyoncé the queenly feel of a lioness. We can’t wait to see her fulfill her role as Nala in the upcoming movie. One might say, we just can’t wait till she’s queen!
This week, I went to see Rocketman, and let me tell you, I was not prepared for the movie to be so emotional! On the surface, I knew that Rocketman was a biopic about the life of Elton John, but I didn’t know much beyond that as I was walking into the theater. When I walked out two hours later, I was emotionally drained and felt connected to Elton John like I never had before!
The movie itself begins with Elton at an addiction support group meeting, where he begins to tell the people there about his story. We follow him back in time as he relates his often-lonely childhood and his journey of meeting Bernie Taupin and making it big as a star. However, the conflict of the movie begins as we watch Elton slowly get entangled in drugs, alcohol, and sex. His life begins to unravel, and we feel his frustration and lack of control as the things he tries to hold onto slowly begin to slip from his grasp.
Elton’s life unravels faster and faster, with the audience hurtling along with him toward destruction, and then suddenly we stop, out of breath, as we watch Elton finally face the demons in his life. “I have always hated myself,” he realizes, and in that moment, my heart breaks. As someone who struggles with her own mental health, I felt viscerally the pain and despair that Elton faced as he stared down a life of addiction and hopelessness that could only end in death. So, if you’re a person with mental illness and you’re watching this movie, remember to keep yourself safe. If Elton’s struggles remind you so deeply of your own that you will be emotionally compromised, please do not hesitate to stop watching.
HOWEVER, the movie doesn’t stay dark and depressing; rather, Elton stamps his foot down, makes a choice to start working on himself, and joins the support group we saw at the beginning of the movie. We watch in awe as he pulls himself up, clawing his way bit by bit, until he is finally healthy again. His hard work pays off! At the end of the movie, he is “still standing” and no one can bring him down!
Needless to say, the story is pretty freaking inspiring, and you’ll find yourself walking away from the theater moved to your core. And the movie is not all depressing scenes and hard topics. No! The movie is loud, and crazy, and over-the-top, and it fits Elton John’s personality. The costumes in the movie are painstakingly detailed and flashy, the random musical numbers are loud and brilliantly choreographed, and the dream sequences where Elton finds himself floating to realms unknown aren’t even questioned by the audience. At first, I found myself startled at people randomly breaking into song, but as the movie progressed, I found myself accepting each strange scene as it occurred, saying to myself, “Oh, that makes sense, it’s Elton John.” And if you sit back and hold on for the ride, you’ll find yourself along on a ridiculously fun romp through the decades! You should go see Rocketman this weekend! In fact, Saturday night’s alright!
Briana Rooke realizes the impact that media have on their audiences, particularly people in the audiences who find themselves underrepresented in society, and she seeks to analyze media in a way that lets those voices be heard. When she’s not interning at Hope for Women or scrutinizing media, Briana enjoys reading classic books like Les Miserables, drinking blueberry tea, and cuddling with her black cat, Selina. She believes that someday stories will truly save the world.