‘Priscilla’ – the woman behind the King of Rock N’ Roll

When you hear the name “Elvis Presley,” many are quick to think about the over-the-top singer with an extravagant personality; movie lovers may think about the 2022 “Elvis” film that outlines the success and tribulations of Elvis’ performing career. 

However, this is not the whole picture. Sucked into Elvis’ shadow, young Priscilla (formerly Priscilla née Wagner) was love-struck by Elvis, and left her suburban life behind to follow the man she loved. “Priscilla” outlines the story of Priscilla Presley, including the many ups and downs that she endured throughout her relationship/marriage to Elvis.

“Priscilla” reveals several behind-the-scenes traits that Elvis hid behind his glitz and glam. At times he was loving and extremely romantic, but other times he was aggressive and impulsive – all while running a pharmacy in his bedside table. Elvis met Priscilla when she was only in the ninth grade, and he gave her just enough attention to have her wrapped around his finger. While watching the film it seemed like Elvis was grooming her to be his “perfect wife.”

The film was glamorous and tantalizing, something that most audiences would enjoy; today’s generation may consider the film retro, while audiences who witnessed Elvis’ stardom can take a dazzling trip down memory lane. 

One factor of the film that appealed to me was the color aesthetic and the clashing of personalities. Pink pastels and soft velvets radiated through Priscilla, but Elvis was more of a cherry red and black leather type. Priscilla liked sequins and Chanel; Elvis liked guns and other women’s Chanel no. 5. 

This film starred Cailee Spaeny (seen in The Craft: Legacy and Pacific Rim Uprising) as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi (known for his role as Nate in the hit TV series “Euphoria”) as Elvis Presley. Both actors played their respective roles with excellence; Spaeny delivered a highly emotional Priscilla, while Elordi portrayed the reckless rockstar Elvis Presley in a way that calls attention to the emotional torture Priscilla Presley endured throughout their relationship. 

And who was the executive producer of “Priscilla?” Priscilla Presley herself. The film is based on Priscilla Presley’s book “Elvis and Me: The True Story of the Love Between Priscilla Presley and the King of Rock N’ Roll.” 

Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled,” “Marie-Antoinette,” “The Godfather Part III”) directed the film, and it was distributed by A24 – another hit for the distribution company. And the film included a fantastic score, featuring songs like “Forever” by The Little Dippers or “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, amongst others. 

I fell hard for this film, and was drawn in the entire time. The film was just under two hours (which I view as ideal), but it could have gone on another half hour or so and I would have been happy. Five out of five. 

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