Home Indie Music Movie Evaluation: Priscilla | Below the Radar Journal

Movie Evaluation: Priscilla | Below the Radar Journal

Movie Evaluation: Priscilla | Below the Radar Journal



Studio: A24
Director: Sofia Coppola

Oct 13, 2023

Net Unique
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Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla is the final word antidote to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (2022). Right here, you shouldn’t anticipate the standard musician biopic–Elvis could play a central function within the story, however he’s not a hero. As a substitute, Priscilla focuses on Priscilla Presley’s relationship with the King of Rock and Roll, concurrently functioning as a biopic and a portrait of a poisonous relationship. Whereas Coppola’s movie will not be excellent, it’s far more fascinating and layered than most biopics.

Priscilla wastes no time diving into its narrative. The movie begins when 14-year-old Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny) meets 24-year-old Elvis (Jacob Elordi) by a mutual companion in Germany. Elvis is immediately interested in Priscilla. He courts her, buys her presents and Priscilla rapidly falls for the popstar–pining for him when he’s absent, paying much less consideration at school and worrying her dad and mom, who marvel why Elvis received’t hang around with folks his age. They discuss intermittently for years, however their distance from each other limits their relationship. Elvis pays for Priscilla’s flight to Graceland, however holidays don’t make up for the misplaced time.

To amend this challenge, Elvis convinces Priscilla’s dad and mom to let her stick with him in Tennessee. He explains that Priscilla will go to a personal faculty within the space and be cared for by his household and maids. In some way, Priscilla’s dad and mom agree. At 17 years outdated, Priscilla strikes in with Elvis to his mansion. The remainder of the movie follows Priscilla as she navigates an advanced relationship with Elvis, turning into topic to his temper swings, addictions and aggressive persona.

It’s laborious to think about anybody aside from Coppola directing Priscilla. All through her filmography, the director has consistently explored what it means to return of age relying on one’s character, environment and previous experiences. Priscilla is not any exception. The first pressure could also be Priscilla’s and Elvis’ relationship, however the movie’s underlying theme explores how Priscilla is robbed of her coming-of-age. As a substitute of participating in her adolescence and discovering who she is, she is pressured to confront issues meant for adults. On high of that, she’s consistently perceived as Elvis’ companion reasonably than her personal individual. The movie works finest when it explores these concepts, basically turning into a narrative of Priscilla regaining her company and understanding that she will take management of her narrative.

The movie additionally takes daring dangers, additional setting it other than the standard biopic. As talked about earlier, Coppola doesn’t paint a reasonably image of Elvis. In any case, he’s not somebody who deserves an all-praising portrait–this was one of many issues with Luhrmann’s biopic. For a lot of the movie’s runtime, Priscilla facilities on an unstable relationship between two folks, consistently crumbling as a result of it was constructed on rocky foundations. The truth that it’s additionally a biopic raises questions on how we immortalize and idolize figures, overlooking necessary points of their private lives as a result of it’s simpler to understand their works as a substitute.

As a result of the movie spends a lot time exploring the pitfalls of their relationship, Priscilla can really feel repetitive. There’s a vicious cycle consistently at play all through the film–Elvis snaps at Priscilla, he apologizes moments later and all the pieces returns to regular. Repeating this development all through the movie is sensible, because it complicates their relationship with every go-around. However, the period of time devoted to this cycle makes the movie appear directionless, stealing the area from further character growth that would propel the story to extra pronounced conclusions.

The movie is watchable–its story is powerful, its performances are nice and its pacing is lightning-fast. However, by attempting to keep away from the standard biopic pitfall of giving an excessive amount of details about a topic’s life, Priscilla suffers from the alternative drawback. We nearly don’t have sufficient details about her as a result of we largely solely see her life refracted by her fights with Elvis. These issues don’t cease the movie from being efficient, however they influence its thematic resonance.

Creator ranking: 6.5/10



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