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A Little Girl In A Grown Man’s World

New Movie ‘Priscilla’ Explores The Young Wife of Elvis
Photo by Sabrina Lantos
Cailee Spaeny portrays Priscilla, the young wife of Elvis, in Sofia Coppola’s new film ‘Priscilla’.

When I initially walked into the theater to watch Sofia Coppola’s new film “Priscilla”, I was expecting to watch a film about Priscilla’s grand life. However, I soon found out I was watching an unsettling story unfold in front of my eyes.
Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” starts in 1959, and follows a young girl who would eventually marry Elvis Presley. She is sitting at the counter of a diner in a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, doing her homework. The then 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu is approached by a friend of Elvis. She is asked if she would like to attend Elvis’s party that weekend, given the reason that Elvis is “always glad to see folks from back home,” as Elvis recently became a soldier.
This sinister invitation doesn’t seem to be so the young and naive Priscilla can just have the opportunity to meet such a prominent figure. When Priscilla first arrives at Elvis’s party, he remarks at the obvious 10 year age gap between the two.
He tells her “You’re just a baby.”
“Thanks,” she replies.
Coppola does an amazing job with casting, as Elvis (Jacob Elordi) is nearly twice as tall as Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny). Coppola uses this height difference to represent the immense age gap between the two and to really bring to life what Elvis says about her just being a “baby.”
As the film progresses, we start to see the odd romance between the two through Priscilla’s naive perspective. After Elvis returns home, Priscilla begins to send him letters constantly, showing how hopelessly in love with him she is. Priscilla is 17 when she finally gets her parents permission to move into Elvis’s mansion, Graceland.
When Priscilla arrives, she is met by a small white dog instead of Elvis, which is something that will become the new regular for the young girl. Many people might say that the film is slow-paced and boring due to the numerous scenes of Priscilla alone in Graceland, but this is exactly what Coppola was trying to accomplish. These lonely scenes of Priscilla encapsulate precisely how she was feeling while being in the grand arches and luxurious rooms of Graceland.
Coppola uses a shot of Priscilla staring hopelessly out of Graceland’s windows as if she is a prisoner in her own home due to the fact that Elvis will not let her have an outside life besides school.
Compared to the other interpretations of Priscilla’s life, I believe that Coppola has truly seen Priscilla for who she is. Coppola did not depict her as the fortunate girl who was Elvis’s true love, but instead a teenage girl exploited by Elvis. The film does an amazing job of creating a space for Priscilla to flourish instead of being dwindled down to something insignificant. In this film we see a true and accurate Priscilla, starting from a 14-year-old girl to a 28-year-old mature woman.
Over time in the film, once bright with pastels that covered the screen were replaced with more mature and harrowing colors. Coppola gives the once airy film a more claustrophobic and restrictive feeling as time progresses. Without this ingenious additive, the film wouldn’t have had the liberating impact that it did.
The closing shot of Priscilla finally escaping her marriage with Dolly Partons “I Will Always Love You” playing in the background leaves the viewer captivated by this tragic story.
Overall I think this movie was an enjoyable watch, and definitely worth seeing.

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About the Contributor
Briyelle Sikes
Briyelle Sikes, Staff Writer
Briyelle Sikes is a sophomore, and is in her first year of Online MultiMedia. She enjoys writing about recent events in the news and other topics. She also enjoys taking photos in her free time.
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