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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Can’t help falling in love with ‘Priscilla’

2023 ‘Priscilla’ brings audiences an enjoyable yet tragic story
Fair use from IMDb

With Elvis Presley being more than just a household name, recently there has been no lack of Elvis-related movies hitting the box office. However, with the most recent edition of movies with an Elvis portrayal, released on Nov. 3, Priscilla steers away from having Elvis in the spotlight and focuses on the inspirational, emotional and complicated life of his ex-wife Priscilla Presley.

“Priscilla” is a jam-packed movie full of ups and downs that keep the audience questioning what is coming next. Cailee Spaeny, the actress who played Priscilla Presley, does an impeccable job at depicting Priscilla’s emotions and bringing her story to life. Spaeny was the perfect choice to illustrate Priscilla, and the director Sofia Coppola made the right decision casting her. Spaeny had a way of making the audience feel the pain Priscilla was going through, and had no problem immersing the viewer in her story. I couldn’t see any other actress being able to have a performance as well orchestrated as Spaeny. 

Although this movie is about Elvis’s ex-wife, leading up to the movie, all people could talk about was Jacob Elordi’s portrayal of the infamous Elvis. Especially with the most recent portrayal of Elvis being Austin Butler and the public’s overwhelming support for Butler, Elordi was left in a sink-or-swim situation. Elordi gave a show-stopping performance with his iconic Elvis accent that you could argue is better than Butler’s. Elordi also had the look for Elvis. Elordi is tall with black hair, and has the same build as the beloved young Elvis. The only thing Elordi lacked in some ways was Elvis’s charm and charisma, which was not shown throughout the movie and left me disappointed in that regard. But all around, Jacob Elordi lived up to all the amazing actors that had the role of Elvis before him.

One of the most iconic and nostalgic parts of the new Priscilla movie was her hair evolution throughout the years. Feathered hair, voluminous bouffants and beehives encapsulated Priscilla’s kind of look. The fashion was also up to par with funky hairstyles and the addition of Priscilla’s pantsuits and brightly colored dresses. All of these elements suck the viewer in and make you feel like you are right in the 60s and 70s alongside them, which was an excellent execution from their costume and makeup team. 

Priscilla wasn’t just hair spray and dancing. The incorporation of Priscilla and Elvis’s haunting relationship with themes of domestic abuse made this movie a real tear-jerker. The disturbing story of how Elvis and Priscilla got together when she was just a ninth grader in high school and he was 24 made it almost impossible to not empathize with Priscilla. Priscilla’s youth and innocence was often portrayed with her wearing childish clothes and a sense of wanting to fit in with Elvis’s older crowd. Her being so young and suddenly launched into a superstar relationship with someone 10 years older than her showed how Priscilla wasn’t living the “perfect life” that many people assumed she was. 

A few things I believe Priscilla could’ve done better, storytelling-wise, was to add more depth to each scene. Scenes often felt very short with some only lasting for mere seconds before they moved on to the next part of the story. Although it is disappointing, it is understandable. When you have a story that goes on for decades and is about a person as iconic as Elvis, it is nearly impossible to fit everything in without making the movie hours long. Another thing I disliked about the movie was that the movie ends so abruptly and didn’t cover all of Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship. I feel that it’s not fitting for Priscilla because so much more happens in her incredible and eventful life. I would have at least liked the story to go on until Elvis’s passing because I feel like there is a big story to tell with that, and a story the fans would love to hear.

In closing,Priscilla was a very fun and nostalgic movie with a lot of references to fashion and culture within the 60s, 70s and 80s. All the people involved did an amazing job at telling the story of Priscilla Presley and everything she had to endure during her marriage with Elvis, and it gave people an inside look at who she was and who Elvis was. It made fans take a double-take at what type of man they thought Elvis Presley was. 

“Priscilla”: ★★★★☆

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About the Contributor
Miles Johnson
Miles Johnson, Echo Staffer
Hey y'all! My names Miles, I'm a junior when I'm not in the #pub I'm thrifting, baking, cooking or hanging out with friends. I'm super excited to be a part of Echo for my first year! And I'm excited to get to know our amazing editor and staff this year!

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