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“Elvis” vs “Priscilla”

Elvis vs Priscilla
IMDb

The media, as we know it, continues to develop into what may soon be classics of the filmmaking industry. However, one topic of discussion is the evolution of celebrities’ lives and how they are represented in this.
One of the most prominent forms of a celebrity reenactment would be movies like “Selena”, “The Social Network”, “The Bling Ring”, and many others.
But where this category truly takes a kaleidoscopic turn is with the recents films primarily about Elvis Presley and his life behind his gilded fame.
“Elvis”, which was released in 2022, told the tale of the life of American music icon Elvis Presley from his adolescence up to how he became a rock legend and Hollywood star.
What so deeply enriched me into this movie was how connected Austin Butler, who played Elvis, was with the musician. He took the role so seriously, he had disconnected himself from his family to really get into the mind of Elvis Presley.
From the point of view of the film, you can tell there wasn’t much of a broader meaning; it focused on so much of the positivity of Elvis’s career and relationship with his ex-wife Pricilla Presley.
This is why I was shocked by the announcement of “Priscilla”, filmed by Sofia Coppola, and how now we get to see a whole new perspective, not only into Elvis’s life, but Priscilla’s as well.
And while people may have their mistakes, you cannot deny how much emotion came with the movie; we saw Priscilla go from an innocent, young, high school student, to a victim of abuse and changing to someone she wasn’t.
This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for those who are familiar with Sofia Coppola’s work prior to “Priscilla”. Besides that, Coppola does an outstanding job of capturing the essence and shifts of their relationship with certain visuals–it was just so cinematic and captivating with every scene.
Obviously, this does paint more of a negative light on Elvis, and while some may claim that women “love” to make men look like bad guys, you cannot deny the reality. Pirsicilla was just a teenage girl pushed into the world of stardom with this heartthrob at such a young and impressionable age.
It made me see the 2022 “Elvis” differently because it wasn’t so focused on the redeeming factors of his personality, but it still acknowledged his achievements.
If the audience never got the juxtaposing position with “Priscilla”, then her life would have never mattered, and that is why I think “Priscilla” was a more meaningful and socially aware film.
It is good to consider both sides of the story, especially Priscilla’s, because Elvis has had countless versions of his life portrayed.
Something that I also really respect is Coppola not illustrating Elvis as a monster, but as a multifaceted person suffering from major addictive behaviors on a self-fulling path of destruction. Even the person who was meant to be his anchor couldn’t save him, and that left her with no choice but to leave for the sake of herself and her child.
These are two very different bodies of work that showcase what a true human is: someone who makes mistakes but also takes that experience and grows from it.

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