“Bohemian Rhapsody” - Movie Review
We Will We Will Rock You
My Review - ◉◉◉◎◎
Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Anthony McCarten
With Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee…
Well I hoped it would rock me, but “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a biopic about the lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), plays it much too safe for a rock movie.
The movie starts at the beginning of the Live Aid concert in 1985 where Queen performed a 20-minute set. It then flips back to 1970 to a young Freddie Mercury who spends his evenings going out to see gigs in college pubs.
Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar to parents of Parsi descents. He moved to England as a teenager and fought with his parents who didn’t approve of his choices.
According to the film, Queen’s ascension to fame was smooth and unproblematic. Mercury met his bandmates Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and Brian May (Gwilym Lee) in a parking lot just after their lead singer left. Mercury becomes their new front man. They are then joined by John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) on bass for their first gig. The band soon records an album, finds a manager and becomes the famous Queen.
The film tries to focus more on Mercury’s personal life and his struggles to be who he really is. He mets Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) who believes in him the moment they met. They start dating and she becomes his biggest support. But Mercury comes to realize that he is gay which at this point Mary already knew. They separate but still have a special bond, and Mercury will rely a lot on Mary for support.
The overall film jumps from scenes to scene without much excitement and color. The one thing that saves the film is Malek’s performance who portrays a flamboyant Mercury. His physicality is on point.
The movie depicts Mercury’s sex life and HIV diagnosis quietly and briefly. It ends with the Live Aid concert that electrified Wembley Stadium, and a brief pre-credits summary of Mercury’s last short years.
The only rock thing about “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the drama behind the scenes. The credited director Bryan Singer was fired from the film towards the end of the shoot, and replaced by Dexter Fletcher who finished it.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is very soft for a rock’n roll film but I did enjoy listening to Queen’s songs throughout.
See it or don’t, you won’t miss much. You are better off blasting Queen’s tunes in the comfort of your house.