Entertainment Austin Butler Shines as He Brings to Life the King of Rock...

Austin Butler Shines as He Brings to Life the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

2022 Jul 8

From booking small roles on Nickelodeon and Disney TV shows, Austin Butler finally takes his career to the big screen, with an award worthy performance as the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend, Elvis Presley. Butler, who stared in the Carrie Diaries, landed the role in July 2019, beating out other candidates such as Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Harry Styles. The film released on June 24, 2022, after being delayed from October 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This film addresses the untold story and the lives of Presley and his longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker who is played by Tom Hanks. This biopic brings audiences of all ages to their feet and allows boomers to feel nostalgic. It brings the stories that were told to kids by their elders to life and gives the current generation a chance to experience music that has truly stood the test of time.

The plot is set in Col. Parker’s perspective as he narrates how he discovered and “gave the world Elvis Presley”. We get to explore scenes from his childhood and what inspired the young boy to find his passion, before we are taken along the road to his success and the downfall of his Rock ‘n’ Roll journey. Parker takes us through that journey while claiming that the King’s death was in large part due to the love and adoration he had garnered from the public and his need to become more, which led to his addiction to alcohol and barbiturates, eventually resulting in his downfall.

For someone who lacks the exact resemblance of the late superstar, Austin Butler perfectly captures the essence of Elvis and channels him in a way that audiences could see the likeness between the two. Butler nails Presley’s smooth southern accent, the hair, the make-up, and best of all, his stage movements – earning him a seal of approval from Elvis’s wife, Pricilla, his daughter, Lisa Marie, and his Granddaughter, Riley Keough. Butler mentioned on the Kelly Clarkson Show, the moment he got the casting call by Baz Luhrmanne, the director; Luhrmanne had phoned a nervous Butler, who had mixed feelings at the time of the call, saying (with a dramatic yet calm air) “are you ready to fly, Mr. Presley?”

Tom Hanks’ performance on the other hand, gives us an idea of how much of an opportunistic crook the Colonel really was. Hanks is no stranger to biopics, having played many memorable characters, such as Captain Richard Phillips, Walt Disney, and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. However, this role didn’t seem up to standards. While his facial prosthetics gave him a few points, the writing of the character seemed underdeveloped. Some would say that his ‘fat suit’ did most of the acting for his character, while his accent was less accurate to the actual person. But then again, Hanks doesn’t play villains all that often. Hence, one shouldn’t be too quick to judge.

If I were to express my opinion, the film seemed to be more focused on Parker’s perspective than on one of the biggest singing legends that ever lived. I felt that Elvis and the other important characters in his life lacked depth to their backstory.

So did Austin Butler earn his crown? Absolutely! He was easily the best part of the movie, garnering widespread acclaim by critics and fans around the world. He had also lent his singing voice to the early stages of the King’s career. It would be no surprise that Hollywood would sign multiple contracts with Butler for the star he proved himself to be.