Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen from 1970 to its Live Aid concert performance in 1985, but the film is really a biopic of frontman Freddie Mercury.
We start off loving Mercury, when we’re introduced to him as a misunderstood kid right out of art school whose parents are pushing himto follow in his father’s boring footsteps and get a nine to five. As the band rises to fame, Freddie goes off the rails. He starts doing drugs, showing up to practices late, and fighting with the other members about the direction of the band. With his high-profile and larger-than-life persona, he eventually alienates the band members, and we see the fall of the lonely rock star.
Rami Malek takes over the screen as the flamboyant lead singer. He’s charming and magnetic in the band’s rise to fame as they regularly are seen selling out clubs and bars in Britain. Malek perfectly depicts the asshole rockstar period of Mercury’s life, which almost all lead singers have. Malek transforms into Mercury with his movements, mannerisms and even wore false teeth to look more like him.
The music was easily the most entertaining part of the film. I was always waiting for another performance of “Another One Bites the Dust” or “Bohemian Rhapsody,” whether it was in the studio or in a performance. There’s some comedy in the studio scenes when we see the band have creative differences and argue with each other.
A few moments took me out of it completely. Singing acapella in a public place even in a movie is always awkward and jarring. It’s incredibly uncomfortable when Freddie just walks up to Brian May and Roger Taylor and starts singing in a parking lot to try out for their band. Brain and Roger also join in and perfectly harmonize with him, making for an even more over-the-top scene.
A few storylines also fail to develop. The relationship between Freddie and his latest boyfriend, Jim Hutton, was poorly portrayed. Jim is shown as a small part of Freddie’s love life — if a part of his life atall. We see Freddie take him to the Live Aid concert, but there’s no context. The average viewer is left thinking, why does Freddie care about this random guy he met one time before this? We learn just before the credits that Freddie and Jim carried on a relationship until Freddie died in 1991.
I’m not a diehard Queen fan, so the fact that much of this story is dramatized to a ridiculous point did not bother me so much. I’m a sucker for a comeback story. In Bohemian Rhapsody we see the rise of a misunderstood kid looking for a place to belong, the fall of an egotistical diva and the comeback at Live Aid. Despite being corny,over-the-top and wildly inaccurate at times, the epic two-hour biopic of the band that wrote “We Will Rock You” is fun and for the most part keeps you entertained for the whole 133 minutes.