Dangerous Delusions Unravel in ‘The Last Elvis’

Angelo Franco

 

The Last Elvis (El Último Elvis)

3 stars (out of four)

Not rated

Spanish with English Subtitles  - Argentina

 

 

Through the delusion and denial that drives this story, “The Last Elvis” emerges as a heartwarming tale of discovery and loss, laced with desire bordering on the obsession and awe-inspiring vocal performances.

 

In his directorial debut, Armando Bo (who co-wrote the script with Nicolás Giacobone) uses the seemingly oversaturated Buenos Aires celebrity-impersonators scene to explore the depths of character of one man, Carlos “Elvis” Gutierrez, who is struggling to match his fantasies with the hard realities he faces.   As far as he is concerned, Carlos is the King, not only on stage among impersonators but in his mind as well – a living reincarnation of the king of rock and roll himself.   The problem with this fantasy is that it catches up to Carlos, who is unaware (or is he?) that it’s just that, a fantasy. 

 

Carlos allows himself to dream, looking at an upcoming gig as an escape route, rehearsing diligently and studying Presley’s concerts.  However, as he tries to balance his artistry with working through a failed marriage with Alejandra – whom he insists on calling Priscilla – Carlos’ plans are suddenly put on hold when an accident leaves him to care for his estranged daughter named Lisa Marie.

 

During the brief yet profoundly moving interactions with his daughter, we catch a glimpse of the man Carlos knows he should be, and perhaps once was.  Over this unprecedented bond with his daughter, there is a glimpse of hope, even of reconciliation.   But one man’s fantasy is bigger than his dreams, or at least that seems to be this parable’s lesson. 

 

 

John McInerny, a real-life Elvis Presley tribute-artist, loans his character a droll and subtle awkwardness that never touches on the ridiculous.  In fact, it serves as a channel for the audience to connect with the struggle of an artist whose gift is untimely though thoroughly deserved.  McInerny’s vocal talents are undisputed, and his performances of Presley’s works are uncanny and poignant. 

 

With the help of beautiful cinematography and deft camerawork, the film dares the borderlines of delusion and reality to be re-imagined into one man’s definition of them.  A bit sappy at times?  Perhaps.  But the heart of the film lies in the way it reaches its audience, almost begging them to root for a character that is flawed in countless ways by examining the hysteria and improbability of his dreams.  The very last shot will raise the suspicion of many, but at least until then, the audience’s heart will be in the right place.

 

Author Bio:

Angelo Franco is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

Popular: 
not popular
Bottom Slider: 
Out Slider

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><div><img><h2><h3><h4><span>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.