Tom Hanks in the movie “Elvis”; Failure to create a villain

Hold a distorting mirror in front of a stereotypical rock 'n' roll biopic, and the distorted reflection is Baz Luhrmann's Elvis. Everything in Luhrmann's surprise summer film is exaggerated and strange; Including and especially the supporting role played by the biggest attraction of the scene, Tom Hanks, who used a lot of artificial tools for his make-up as Colonel Tom Parker, the famous program manager and exploiter of Elvis Presley; A fake nose, a big stick-on pout, pads that give him almost the round, fleshy look Jim Broadbent had in Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. Throw in a fake Dutch accent, and his role becomes a mockumentary of the swaggering celebrity behavior that most often succeeds on Oscar night.

BingMag.com Tom Hanks in the movie “Elvis”; Failure to create a villain

Hold a distorting mirror in front of a stereotypical rock 'n' roll biopic, and the distorted reflection is Baz Luhrmann's Elvis. Everything in Luhrmann's surprise summer film is exaggerated and strange; Including and especially the supporting role played by the biggest attraction of the scene, Tom Hanks, who used a lot of artificial tools for his make-up as Colonel Tom Parker, the famous program manager and exploiter of Elvis Presley; A fake nose, a big stick-on pout, pads that give him almost the round, fleshy look Jim Broadbent had in Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. Throw in a fake Dutch accent, and his role becomes a mockumentary of the swaggering celebrity behavior that most often succeeds on Oscar night.

Elvis is based on a revised historical reading of how the real Parker Elvis was abused, written, and the criminal, parasitic fictional version we see in "Elvis" is the most despicable character Hanks has ever played in his entire resume. This means that the actor who has played Forrest Gump, Sheriff Woody and Walt Disney has never been so blatantly and irredeemably bad. Unfortunately, this two-time Oscar-winning actor has never played such a shallow and stupid role before; A post caricature of media bloodlust in the style of a Saturday Night Live comedy show. How did such a brave choice of actors get into so much trouble? How did "Elvis" ruin such a charming artistic couple and such powerful roles?

We are tempted to say that the problem of this film is simply casting; Luhrmann has taken a huge risk in trying to get the best movie stars to dominate us instead of an infamous blockbuster and failed. After all, Tom Hanks' rsum reads like a list of good kids written by Santa Claus (which, ironically, is one of Tom Hanks' most famous and successful roles). It was probably in the 1990s, after "Forrest Gump" won him his second Best Actor Oscar, that the star's reputation as an ordinary gentleman began to take shape. Years later, he's reached a point in his life and career where just being in a movie inspires a sense of paternal decency and trustworthiness. It is not without reason that he is sometimes referred to as "the father of America".

Of course, not all the characters in Hanks' career are pure and incorruptible people. He has also played the role of imperfect souls and clients with questionable morals; A carefree youth, a vengeful killer, a sly congressman, an influential and slightly corrupt person in the tech industry, a violent criminal who becomes a best-selling author, and in his directorial debut, a music program manager whose accounts and books are not much different from the character's tricks. Strange but real, who did not play his role in the movie "Elvis". Even Woody, the plastic cowboy who is one of the most popular characters in the world of animation, has unpleasant features; His jealousy and quick temper is the driving force behind Toy Story. (There is reason to think that maybe Pixar was able to avoid the consequences of making such a problematic character for the hero of their first project because a popular star voiced the main character.)

With this Now it is rare to see Hanks directly in the role of the villain of the story. That's why his performance as Parker is not well suited. Naturally, we expect Hanks to find something human and tangible in the character, emphasizing the pathetic justifications and uncomfortable frailties of his old age. But what we see from this character in "Elvis" is a leech that sucks the blood of its source of income to the bottom; The criminal man who tightly controlled Presley's finances caused (and even started) her addiction, forcing her to live in a casino-like residence that served as a glamorous prison for her. He is a demonic figure who lures Elvis with the promise of greater things, like Mr. Dark does in Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The idea that Hanks To put him in such a new and lowly role and ask him to play the role of such an unscrupulous man is a bit clever. The turning point of "Elvis" is when the main character believes that his manager is trustworthy, and does not see his greedy calculations behind his glowing promises and fatherly advice. That Parker is the film's narrator should practically put uninformed viewers in the shoes of the burgeoning rock star; That is, it should cause them to mistake this music-oriented devil for a kind and magical godfather. Why shouldn't Elvis trust Parker? Tom Hanks is playing his role!

Luhrmann had a lot of room to play with, a whole legacy on stage to use as a weapon. What can be said about Tom Hanks is that he is a classic star Cinema is a living legacy of Hollywood's past. An example of a calm, noble and masculine character like Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart. Although his back-to-back Oscar wins for "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump" were different, they didn't make him a chameleon. On the contrary, Hanks plays an established character with variety, which enables filmmakers such as Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Paul Greengrass to build films around the characteristics he so powerfully portrays; Moral integrity, kindness, and humble courage. He is an embodiment of the ideal American spirit. And when he's playing a real character, it's usually because his own comforting qualities can bring out another character's, even when (as the most relevant example possible) he represents the exemplary kindness of Fred Rogers.

Unfortunately, "Elvis" fails to use the capacities of its capable actors. Instead of taking advantage of the emotional connection between Hanks and his audience, it hides it under makeup. Professor Clampy's goofy style suggests that Luhrmann (or at least his investors) didn't want to believe that audiences could accept Tom Hanks as a villain without the aid of a makeover. In a way, this tactic is the exact opposite of what It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood does. The director of that film, Mariel Heller, did not try to hide the star; Because Hanks himself, as the main pillar of kindness in Hollywood, is exactly like the film's impression of Mr. Rogers. The solution of the movie "Elvis" was to hide Hanks, lest our fanatical interest in him conflict with Parker's badass image.

Thus, this new role of Tom Hanks is the most similar to his old works. His over-the-top performance as a Southern-style con man is similar to the Coen brothers' remake of The Ladykillers. In that film, too, all of Hanks' signature qualities are hidden beneath the swagger of a sitcom, complete with outlandish costumes, a rough accent, and a big physique. Is Tom Hanks so imbued with honesty and integrity in the eyes of the public that he has to be completely caricatured and turned into a living cartoon character in order to be able to prevail in the role of a scoundrel? This means that his few attempts at playing truly unpleasant characters have resulted in artificial, weirdly costumed diner theater appearances, and all the qualities (and comforting charisma) that Tom Hanks is known for are gone. It's dropped.

What's interesting is that we never forget who we're seeing in Elvis. Hanks has no special talent for impersonation; Accepting him as a recognized historical figure requires seeing an effective kinship between his own character and another. Here, trying to hide how Hanks usually looks and acts on stage paradoxically reveals all his hard work. He is quite visible in this rubber coating and strange way of speaking. The best thing we can say about his performance in "Elvis" is that it fits perfectly with the theatrical mode of the subject; And with Parker's image as a fake cowboy, a scheming and persistent entrepreneur.

The character played by Tom Hanks in "Elvis" and "Old Lady Killers" both belies Hanks' image as the ever-present Hollywood good guy. In order to completely destroy this character, Hanks had to completely resemble Henry Fonda in "Once Upon a Time in the West" and strip his heroic character of all affection and sympathy. Everyone has a dark side. We're sure to be shocked and thrilled to see Hanks truly communicate his dark side without the aid of dialogue or fattening prosthetics.

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