By Aranyak Goswami (India)
Who are Gods or embodiment of God on earth? People who with their single minded influence change the course of history and carve a permanent niche in the minds of generations present and generations to come. Such singular is their ability to impress that with just their presence and movements they can hypnotize people in their favor.
On the other hand exists powerful people who with their own efforts and indomitable influence and bliss of fate reach the highest rung of social orders and achieve the greatest position of power on earth. They are not particularly loved or desired by people holding a sanctuary in the hearts of countless admirers but nobody can deny their unquestionable position of authority.
Personalities of the first kind we love and the second kind we revere. What happens when people of such distinct specialties confront each other? Surely sparks are going to fly at both ends.
When people of such stature start communicating with each other rumors of legendary levels crop up. Part of this story is about truth and rest is the matter of fiction and folklore.
The story described in the film rests on the shoulder of two legendary persons one with universal and indomitable swagger whereas the other one with iron will and determination coming close together in context of a unique photograph taken and which remains till date as one of the most requested photographs from the American national archive.
Elvis & Nixon deals beautifully in bringing two iconic characters together on screen with their own individual insecurities and ego. A multitude of concepts and idiosyncrasies shown in the movie have been part of different colorful stories some even stranger than fiction. The frenzy, the hoopla associated with Elvis has been depicted with an infectious affection. On the other hand the subtle power play and the apprehensive anxiety of being swayed completely away by the impish wildness of Elvisian charm have been shown with a comical dignity.
As a consequence the whole film becomes an enjoying fun ride where the eccentricities of Elvis, the madness of his unbelievable demands and power crazy aloofness and concern of Nixon have produced an all savory meal of entertainment.
Any film attains fulfillment when the performances in the movies are stellar. While on the other hand performance in films become worth remembering when the casting is apt.
No one doubts the acting prowess of Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon. Yet it is worthwhile to mention that despite slightest semblance with the legendary singer Shannon picks up his madness and mannerisms with great style. The film looked out rightly amusing and splendid without even making any visible effort to emerge funny.
Kevin Spacey in the role of a man who at first oblivious to the presence of this global sensation offsetting him with an iron man ego and finally being completely swayed by the magnetism of the charisma shown by the most irresistible man present on earth has struck the right chord like a pro.
While all the other actors in their own individual ways have given credence to the madness, conflict and charisma of the two most revered people on earth but the actual hero of the film is without question the screenplay and story written wittily by Joey and Hanala Segal. They have expanded a two-line story of two celebrities meeting for a picture into a complete joyride without trying to over cynical or extra caricaturish.
The greatest strength of the field is the amusing nature of the film and its satirical take on fame, power, charisma, fandom and hollowness of materialism without being very preachy. The director Liza Johnson deserves full brownie points to bring two iconic characters of history with an amusing pretext in a movie.
My Rating: 7.2/10