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"Don't be soft." Elton John's complicated relationship with his father, Stanley Dwight.

Three words in Rocketman define the relationship between Elton John and his father, Stanley Dwight: “Don’t be soft”.

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.

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“That’s not the Dad I remember,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Dad had a big heart and he loved us all equally. He was incredibly proud of Elton and everything that he achieved.”

Stanley Dwight passed away from heart disease in 1991, with his sons from his second marriage Geoff, Stanley Jnr, Robert, and Simon by his side.

Geoff shared that when a friend commented on Stanley’s “four wonderful sons” he replied “I’ve got five wonderful sons.”

Watch the trailer for Rocketman. Post continues after video. 

Geoff, who has now lost contact with his half-brother Elton, explained his father’s behaviour was a product of his time.

“This coldness, it’s a million miles away from what Dad was like,” he told the Daily Mail.

“He was a product of a time when men didn’t go around hugging each other and showing their feelings every minute of every day, but he had plenty of love in him for all of us,” he added.

He further added that it was Stanley that bought the now 72-year-old Elton John his first piano, and that he was supportive of him when he came out.

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