The film portrays the relationship between father and son as cold and unloving. Throughout Rocketman, Stanley doubts his son’s inevitable talents, questioning whether he is capable of receiving a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and shaming him for playing the piano.
Elton himself has spoken previously about his complicated relationship with his father.
Writing for the Sunday Times, Elton explained that his father abandoned him for a life with his second wife and the family they created.
“A tough and unemotional man. Hard. In the RAF. He was dismissive, disappointed and finally absent. I just wanted him to acknowledge what I’d done. But he never did,” he wrote for the publication.
While at first he thought his father didn’t understand children, he eventually came to see himself as the problem.
“He left us, remarried and had another family, and by all accounts was a great dad to them. It wasn’t children. It was me,” he wrote.
But Elton’s half-brother, Geoff Dwight, has come to the defence of their father, saying Stanley Dwight loved all his children equally.
— Mirror Celeb (@MirrorCeleb) June 2, 2019