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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

“Priscilla” Review

A24 Studios
Priscilla and Elvis’s wedding scene depicted in the new film.

The new hit biopic movie “Priscilla” follows the life of Priscilla Presley, former wife of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Directed by Sofia Coppola, “Priscilla” tells the forgotten story of a passionate first love while bringing light on how the abuse in their relationship led Priscilla to escape and find a life of her own.

Based on Presley’s 1985 memoir titled “Elvis and Me,” there is a strong accuracy between the book and new film.  Both forms of media show the couple navigate their complex relationship and give the public a better understanding of how Priscilla’s internal struggles led to their divorce and Elvis’s death. 

With Presley as an executive producer in the film, working closely with Coppola and Cailee Spaeny, the leading actress, throughout the production, this new take on their toxic love story is extremely intimate and accurate.

“I really liked the movie actually, I thought it was a really well directed and filmed movie. I would watch it again,” Logan Lowe, junior, said.

In an interview, Spaeny commented on how it felt watching the film premiere at the Venice Film Festival sitting next to Priscilla Presley herself. 

“She pulled me aside in Venice to say she saw her life through this movie,” Spaeny said. “I almost burst into tears.” 

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Jacob Elordi, the male lead playing Elvis Presley, was also seated next to Priscilla and recognized the emotional significance behind Coppola’s film and the impact it had on the woman.

“Watching the film in Venice with Priscilla was entirely surreal; watching her watch her life through her eyes played back to her,” Elordi said.

Elordi took many bizarre steps to prepare to play Elvis, reportedly eating almost a pound of bacon a day not only to appear physically bigger for the movie but also because Elvis is said to have liked burnt bacon. Along with physicality, he also spent a lot of time emulating Elvis’s voice which sounded so similar it amazed Priscilla with its likeness. 

“Jacob Elordi was great, he was really committed to his character and fit the role. I also loved him in Euphoria,” Elie Guyard, junior, said.

Although a variety of old and new songs were used in the film, they were not allowed to use any of Elvis’s music. Elvis Presley Enterprises are known to be protective over Elvis’s music and denied the rights to use his music when Coppola requested. However at the end of the film, they used ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Dolly Parton, which was the song Elvis sang to Priscilla when they were finalizing their divorce at the courthouse.

Priscilla’s late daughter, Lisa Presley, was in disapproval of the film and sent Coppola several emails claiming the movie would paint her father out to be manipulative and vengeful. However, the book’s depictions match with the film, showing Priscilla’s isolation and the amount of control Elvis had over her from her looks to her emotions. 

Being very young when they met, she was impressionable. Elvis once allegedly told his close friend, Rex Mansfield, Priscilla was, “young enough I can train her anyway I want.” The movie portrays ways Elvis physically abused her, cheated on her, manipulated her, isolated her and got her on illegal substances despite being underage.

“I think Priscilla was right to leave the relationship because her husband was kind of crazy, throwing chairs at her,” Lowe said. “That’s kind of why she needed to leave.”

In ‘Elvis and Me’ as well as ‘Priscilla’, Priscilla realized she needed to divorce after she began to create a life of her own and find security in herself outside her marriage. After Elvis was gone for long stretches of time on tour, she realized how unnatural their marriage was and how his dependence on drugs affected her. They finalized their divorce in 1973, after 14 years together.

“[Priscilla] deserved better. She should have left earlier because he was abusive, controlling and not a good husband at all. If you feel trapped in an abusive relationship, you’re stronger than you think. It gets better and you don’t need to rely on them– there’s other people, you can find better,” Guyard said.

Overall, ‘Priscilla’ was a wonderful movie with a powerful story and had a deep impact on me. The aestheticism, accuracy to the book, use of color and era-specific details all brought the movie together. The soundtrack crushed me and was beautifully fitting for each scene. I would recommend this movie if you like biopics with feminine melancholic but relatable undertones.

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