Rocketcat

With apologies to Reginald Dwight

[Timothy the Talking Cat] You see? You see? I totally tricked you.
[Camestros Felapton] Hmmm
[Tim] You thought we were going to go and see Godzilla but we actually went to see Rocketman.
[CF] That’s OK. I enjoyed the film.
[Tim] But admit that I totally tricked you.
[CF] OK, you totally tricked me despite the local cinema not currently showing Godzilla and despite the posters all around town advertising the Bortsworth RSPCA Movie Gala and Dress Your Companion Animal Like Elton John Competition and despite the movie tickets that you made me print out saying ‘Rocketman’.
[Tim] Yes, but I wrote ‘Godzilla’ over the top of them.
[CF] Technically you wrote ‘Globzila’ and it was in purple crayon.
[Tim] Prank of the decade.
[CF] You don’t think I might have guessed when you insisted that I make you a sequinned jumpsuit with ‘Elton’ written on the back and that we set out to the film with you wearing giant spectacles and that you sang ‘Crocodile Rock’ all the way there?
[Tim] Nope, you were totally fooled and I made you watch a rock star biopic which is a genre you utterly hate,
[CF] Not at all. I enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody.
[Tim] If you enjoyed it so much, why didn’t you take me along.
[CF] I feel like that question answers itself.
[Tim] I love Queen.
[CF] You love THE Queen of England…and also the only bit of any of their songs you ever sing is ‘Bismillah No!’
[Tim] It’s the best bit.
[CF] Which you like to sing to the tune of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’
[Tim] I just feel that once they had found the best possible lyric that they should have stuck with it.
[CF] Luckily for popular culture they ignored your advice.
[Tim] I’ll concede that music lyrics is one aspect of the written arts to which I have not yet stooped to conquer.
[CF] To the relief of music audiences everywhere.
[Tim] Which only goes to show that you are the Bernie Taupin in this relationship and that I am the Elton John.
[CF] As in I have to write everything you say?
[Tim] As in you are just an imaginary aspect of my personality. An manifestation of my inner introvert, who appears to me in hallucinations because I’m just so amazing that parts of my subconscious manifest themselves as guiding spirits.
[CF] I…you know Bernie Taupin is a real person right?
[Tim] Oh you silly man. That was just a movie. I’ve explained the difference to you before.
[CF] No, I explained the difference about fact & fiction to you. Taupin is a real person, he really did write the lyrics to most of Elton John’s most famous songs and they have had a lifelong collaboration.
[Tim] Look that is not what the film showed. Taupin was just a magical plot device to reveal Elton’s inner dialogue with himself. It’s like that film where a gladiator hires Tony Stark’s butler.
[CF] What? Oh…OK…you mean A Beautiful Mind?
[Tim] Exactly! Taupin isn’t meant to be REAL. That would just be ridiculous. What? He magically writes lyrics that somehow match the exact emotions of Elton John’s character throughout his whole life even for bits before they met and when he wasn’t there?
[CF] That’s not…OK, yes that is sort of how the film works but that’s just a device to mix the music into the plot.
[Tim] You said it was all real!
[CF] No, I just said Bernie Taupin is a real person! The film itself was fictionalised.
[Tim] I think it was a documentary. They couldn’t just say that Elton John has anti-gravity powers AND can shoot rockets out of his feet. That would be slander!
[CF] That’s not how slander works. I really liked the blend of fantasy and reality.
[Tim] You mean like the spooky Bernie Taupin character?
[CF] No, once again, he’s real. I mean the dance sequences, that surreal rendition of Rocketman at the bottom of a swimming pool, the way songs are matched to the scene rather than the time period they were written — those things are fictionalised. And that’s good. I like the fantastical element to the film. It was appropriate for the genre and for Elton John as a character
[Tim] SEX DRUGS AND ROCK ROLL!
[CF] Well that and the other pop-music biopic cliches. The troubled childhood, moments loaded with a sense of destiny, the stress of sudden success, the emotionally manipulative manager; that’s all mandatory as is the rise, fall and recover plot structure.
[Tim] Aha! As I said. You actually hate these kinds of movies and I can quote you. “They tend to cliches, a life-is-fate perspective and mawkish sentimentality while trivialising mental health issues with a vouyeuristic puritanism that wallows in both depicting and condemning excess”.
[CF] I don’t remember saying that.
[Tim] I found it in your subconscious. I was looking for dark secrets to blackmail you with.
[CF] Well, I mean that’s all partly true of the film but it would be absurd to look at Elton John’s life in that period without it being about a rise and fall, as well as looking at his sexuality and his lifestyle. However, the film centres on a friendship between two men who just work really well together and bring out the best each other even when Elton John’s life is going off the rails in multiple ways.
[Tim] You mean the way it focuses on his imaginary friend Bernie Taupin?
[CF] Who is not remotely imaginary and who is an actual real living person.
[Tim] So not like you then?
[CF] I am NOT a figment of your imagination.
[Tim] I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words, how fictional you are when you’re in my world…


10 thoughts on “Rocketcat

  1. Timothy and you make the film sound more exciting than it probably is.

    But then I really don’t care about the current flood of rockstar biopics. I like the music, but don’t really need a fictionalised account of the people who wrote and sang it.

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    1. I’m planning to go see it, mostly because I’ve been very impressed by the two lead actors in other stuff (specifically Kingsman and The Bodyguard).

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