Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the formation of the band, Queen, right up to their legendary appearance at the Live Aid concert, July 13th, 1985.
I’ll start by saying I enjoyed it. Is it formulaic? Yes. This sticks closely to the rock band biopic playbook and we’ve all seen this movie many times before. The band gets together, makes it big, gets into trouble, breaks up, gets back together, and then delivers a knock-your-socks-off finale. It’s all by-the-numbers, and not even historically accurate either. Which, I believe, will not sit well with Queen fans who are more informed about the details.
This story is set up (well, more shoehorned really) to be one of self-discovery and overcoming great obstacles. And shamelessly moves the date of Freddie’s Aids diagnosis up a few years, so that the rest of the band can marvel at their lead singer’s ability to kill it at the Live Aid finale, despite the horrible crippling disease. If you didn’t know better, watching this movie, you might believe this was his last performance before he died. But the band actually released two more albums after Live Aid, and Freddie died November 24th, 1991.
Freddie is frequently depicted as the troubled drugged up soul ruining everything for everybody, whereas the rest of the band are shown as devoted family men. Mike Myers also shows up as a music executive, just to give the audience a Wayne’s World reference. If you don’t care about these details, fine, listen to the music and enjoy yourself. Just don’t share what you learn from this film, as it’s really misleading.
If anything saves this by-the-numbers inaccurate tale of success and tragedy, is Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury, and obviously, Queen’s music. Rami Malek’s performance will likely see some award season recognition, maybe even an Oscar nomination. It’s that good. The way he carries himself, how he speaks, and how he moves on stage is pretty much perfect. The finale is also fantastic. A near perfectly shot copy of Queen’s Live Aid concert performance, brought to you on the big screen, with crystal clear surround sound. Radio Ga Ga, has never sounded so good.
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Mike Myers
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Screenplay by: Anthony McCarten
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr 14 min.