Bohemian Rhapsody: Rock On!
As its name implies, Bohemian Rhapsody, is the story of Freddie Mercury, also known as Farrokh Bulsara, and the creation of the rock band, Queen. The film centers around Queen’s iconic performance iconic performance at the charity concert, Live Aid, in 1985. The main reason to watch this film is for Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury, lead singer and author of many of the band’s songs. Malek (Mr. Robot) manages to capture Freddie’s mannerisms, bluntness, arrogance, and his weaknesses. When Malek is on stage, you really think he is a legendary rocker, and his scenes with the band have dramatic depth due to his performance.
John Ottman, the editor of the film (and Brian Singer’s only editor), meticulously cut the film, particularly the music scenes, where the action on screen matches beautifully with the songs. My particularly favorite moment being the recording of the hit song, Another One Bites The Dust, written by the band’s bass guitarist, John Deacon. How they came up with that song alone is a bit of a chuckle.
Mike Myers (Austin Powers, Shrek) plays a grouchy, (think “Shrek” for the voice) Scottish record executive, who rejects Queen’s more experimental music, and is both distracting and hilarious at the same time. In fact, there are a lot of very funny lines throughout Bohemian Rhapsody, for example, “You look like a lizard to me” and “I pity your wife if you think six minutes is forever”, that add irony and wit, making the viewing experience all the more enjoyable.
Freddie's bisexuality is not glossed over in the film, but it is handled with care to avoid the R rating. In some ways this makes it feel more watered down as the film tries, as best as it can, to not directly reference the subject. Freddie’s two main relationships are with Mary Austin, who remained his best friend, and later, Jim Hutton are complicated, and genuine.
As a biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody ticks all the boxes, and plays it safe, as Queen lead guitarist and one of this film’s producer, Brian May, wanted it to. The concert scenes are amazing to watch, and it's an enjoyable and crowd-pleasing film, with a terrific lead performance, but, if I’m being honest, I think it could have been much more than that.
Now playing in Lebanon at Entertainment Cinemas, Monday Through Thursday at 3:05, 6:00, and 9:05 PM, Friday at 11:40am, 3:05, 6:00, and 9:05 PM, and Sunday at 11:40am, 3:05, and 6:00 PM.