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TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024
TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024

Cougar Critique: “Priscilla”

The movie Priscilla had a box office gross of $19,602,138 dollars. Graphic by: Brody Daw
The movie Priscilla had a box office gross of $19,602,138 dollars. Graphic by: Brody Daw

Our thoughts and opinions on the movie “Priscilla”

Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the A24 film “Priscilla” released on Oct. 27 following Priscilla Presley and world famous singer Elvis Presley through their 13 

year-long relationship amidst Elvis’ huge success.Their complicated relationship was recounted by Priscilla in her 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me,” that ultimately ended with their divorce in 1973, inspiring the film “Priscilla.”

Priscilla Presley herself is an executive producer of the movie, providing the film with personal details that showed the true story of their relationship, not just the perfect couple that the media showed and admired.

“Priscilla” is from her own point of view, as there have been many media adaptations of Elvis’ point of view of  their relationship, there is yet to be one from Priscilla’s. As a young teenager, 14-year-old Priscilla was scouted by one of Elvis’ fellow soldiers when they were stationed in Germany. Through repeated coaxing, Priscilla’s parents eventually allowed her to attend a party at Elvis’ house, which led to recurring dates and a relationship between the high schooler and 24-year-old. 

While we applaud the beautiful producing and casting (Jacob Elordi as Elvis and Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla), the movie almost seemed to romanticize the mental abuse that Priscilla endured. With the appealing aesthetics and popular cast members, it was difficult to view the toxic relationship as fully volatile, since everything was beautiful.

Coppola’s film portrayed  over ten years of their relationship, yet the filming of the movie was shot in only 30 days. Her style of showing brief clips or memories fluidly blended together to create a cohesive and fantastic plot line.

Watching her style evolve from decade to decade was very cool and accurate to real-life photographs and exact outfits. Costume designer Stacey Battet said,Clothes are both their armor and their identity.” Beginning in the 1950s, modest dresses evolving into large hairstyles and colorful prints assisted in marking the passage of time. 

Pictured are Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley on their wedding day, this was also portrayed in the movie. Photo by: Dan Perry

Clothing was also the first time that the audience saw Elvis wanting to control Priscilla when he directly told her that darker eye makeup and black hair would suit her better. The audience watches as Priscilla goes from a very minimal clothing and makeup style to a bolder and more mature one as Elvis influences her moves and she becomes involved in the crowd of fame and partying. 

Their complicated relationship had been normalized in the eyes of the media, yet “Priscilla” was able to reveal the truth behind their relationship; although it was directly mentioned, the audience comes to understand Priscilla as a victim of Elvis’ abrasive personality.

From a 14-year-old girl who was completely smitten and simultaneously taken advantage of by a man 10-years-older than her, to the woman who was finally able to summon the courage to leave him after his abuse and infidelity, Priscilla shows the relatable innocence of a girl and how she is shaped by the people around her.

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About the Contributors
Brody Daw, Social Media Editor
Brody Daw is a junior at VHS in her third year at The Cougar Press. She enjoys listening to music, shopping, running and backpacking.
Sophia Denzler, Assisstant Managing Editor
Sophia Denzler is a junior at VHS in her third year at The Cougar Press. She enjoys going to the beach, watching movies, eating sushi and running. 
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