The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

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“Priscilla:” A raw biopic of Elvis’s wife

After Elvis Presley’s death in 1977, his wife, Priscilla Presley, dedicated the rest of her presence in the media to upholding his “god-like” reputation. She preserved the legacy of the rock star just as she did his house, Graceland, his costumes and his fame. However, in 1985, she released a bestselling memoir, “Elvis and Me,” that exposed the side of her relationship with Elvis that had been hidden for decades. 46 years later, Sofia Coppola directed a film adaptation of Pricilla’s experiences throughout her time with the beloved musician, which turned out to be nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece.

The movie was released to all theaters in the U.S. on Nov. 3, but the first trailer was published on June 21. Some fans who viewed Baz Lurman’s film “Elvis” in 2022 were skeptical about Australian actor Jacob Elordi playing the rock ‘n’ roll singer instead of Austin Butler who played the star in “Elvis.” Further, some fans of other Coppola films were rejoiced at the idea of her covering another female story, which she has done admirably in the past with movies like “Marie Antoinette” and “The Bequilded.”

“Priscilla” perfectly captured the emotions and love story between Priscilla and Elvis. The movie began when Priscilla, played by Cailee Spaeny, was 14 years old and had recently moved to Germany due to her father being stationed there for war. Soon after the move, Priscilla received an invitation to come to a party at Elvis’s house. Elvis was immediately enthralled with Priscilla as soon as he saw her, and what once was considered an “innocent meetup” led to much more. The couple began seeing each other more frequently and eventually ended up moving in together. After this, Priscilla’s adolescence began to become completely centered around Elvis and their connection.

Their relationship was ideal for a while, but as Elvis’s addiction to drugs and fame grew, their relationship took a turn for the worse. Before she knew it, 14-year-old Priscilla was dragged into the world of stardom without much of a choice. This new movie explores the other point of view of one of the most iconic couples in the world and how their relationship may not have been as flawless as everyone thought.

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Unlike Baz Lurman’s “Elvis,” “Priscilla” is a delicate film with soft lighting, quiet speaking and muted colors. We never hear a full Elvis song or see a performance because the movie solely focuses on Priscilla and her perspective of her Elvis as a husband, not a celebrity. Although “Priscilla” is very different from “Elvis,” we believe it’s more entertaining and captivating. Coppola and the stars, Spaeny and Elordi, emulated Priscilla Presley’s narrative in “Elvis and Me” perfectly. Spaeny and Elordi acted out the confusing dynamic between the pair beautifully.  They captured a seamless combination of tension and affection that felt real—tension and affection that felt raw in comparison to the showy performance of Austin Butler in “Elvis.”

“Priscilla” holds a lot more meaning and depth in contrast to the other biopic on Elvis’s life. We were fascinated by how the film was centered around Priscilla’s self discovery and her understanding of her toxic relationship with Elvis, while still showing Priscilla’s endless love for husband. The emotions were very clear and we felt for Priscilla during her lovesick, exciting and disappointing times with Elvis.

We noticed that the scenery and music of the film aligned with the feelings of Priscilla, and Priscilla’s fashion was even more representative. We enjoyed seeing how clearly her style evolved from childhood, to marriage with Elvis and finally to discovering her own taste.

Overall, this movie was amazing and an entertaining portrayal of Priscilla’s life and her point of view. There have been many Elvis movies over the years and it was refreshing to watch Priscilla’s side of the story for the first time. Although this movie is R-rated, it seemed audience friendly despite a few violent scenes. We would give this movie a 10/10 rating due to its amazing plot and bold storytelling. If you enjoy other movies directed by Sofia Coppola or romance movies with some intensity in general, then “Priscilla” is for you.

This story was originally published on Wayland Student Press on November 20, 2023.