I will avoid spoilers here and request that any comments remain spoiler free as well.

My wife and I watched the Elton John biopic Rocketman tonight. I was interested in this one mostly for the music, but after watching it, I love the storytelling techniques used.

The directors used two interesting techniques to tell this story. The first was the framework of using a 12-step rehab meeting with flashbacks, which I loved the overall framing this way.

One of my favorite movies is For the Love of the Game, and the the rehab flashbacks reminded me of the framework of nine innings of a baseball game that was used in that movie. It was an interesting and effective framework in both films.

The other interesting storytelling technique used in Rocketman was to use Elton John’s songs within the flashbacks to tell the story. It gave the film a kind of musical theater feel in addition to the rehab framing. At times, the song would be the bridge into the flashback. Other times, the song would be the bridge back into the rehab circle.

Some do not/will not be okay with the handling of his sexuality, and the fimmakers don’t try to pave over it the way the filmmakers of Bohemian Rhapsody did in the case of Freddie Mercury. In some ways this films plays out much like Elton’s story would in an actual 12-step meeting and it’s all laid out as a confession with the good, the bad, and the ugly on display.

Even if you don’t agree with Elton’s life, I still recommend this to anyone dealing with traditional 12-step issues as well as those of us using the 12-steps to work through other areas of our lives. It demonstrates that when we commit to the 12-steps, they actually work.

I again request that any comments remain spoiler free.

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