Veteran songwriter and producer Mike Batt has slammed Sir Elton John's biopic Rocketman as "disgusting dishonesty" for its portrayal of the people who made up the pop legend's inner circle.
Batt, who worked closely with John's first manager, Ray Williams, shared his disappointment with the storyline in a rant on Facebook which has since been deleted.
- Critics walk out of 'garbage' Cannes film after 13-minute sex scene
- Elton John's Rocketman worth making a song and dance about
According to the Daily Mail, the Wombles creator said that John and his husband David Furnish, who produced the movie, "should be ashamed of themselves".
"The whole film is a lie. Disgusting dishonesty that should be called out," he said.
"The film cleverly poses as a brave, honest confession, but is actually an outpouring of bile towards everyone Elton wants to blame for what he became and what he did, casting him as a victim who triumphs over adversity."
Batt went on to call the re-telling of the 'Tiny Dancer' singer's life "sickening, vengeful, vicious dishonesty".
"Having selfish, angry tantrums and reducing assistants to tears is one thing, but putting the boot into all of these people is f**king outrageous."
- Elton John says Taron Egerton sings his songs 'better than anyone'
- How Rami Malek got ready to play Freddy Mercury
Particular reference was made to the portrayal of John's mother as "boozy" and his ex-manager/lover John Reid as an "uncaring sex-god manipulator", which Batt described as "weapons-grade character assassination".
The son of music publisher Dick James has also spoken out, claiming his father was "misrepresented" and was actually the victim.
Referencing a scene in which James' character calls Reid a "f**king poofter", his son Stephen told the Mail on Sunday: "That is not who my father was. He would never have used the F-word or a homophobic term like 'poofter'."
At the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Rocketman, John said he "wouldn't change one thing" about the movie.
"It's the film that I wanted to make."
The film opens in New Zealand cinemas this week.