A rock biopic exploring the life of Freddie Mercury, this film attempts to trace the meteoric rise of one of the most iconic rock bands ever: Queen.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: C)
“We're four misfits who don't belong together, we're playing for the other misfits…. We belong to them.” Freddie Mercury says when explaining what makes Queen special and different. And with the indominable Rami Malek (Mr Robot, Night at the Museum) as the voice, thus begins a 2-hour-long look into the band that becomes Queen.
The best thing about this movie is Rami Malek’s performance as the iconic Freddie Mercury. From vocal inflections down to the incredible energy that Mercury displayed while performing onstage, culminating in Queen’s iconic performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Malek’s feat of impersonation is one that I expect will live on for a while, even if it is a passenger in a movie vehicle that is constantly breaking down.
Given the fact that there is no lack of material to pull from, and that it was co-produced by two surviving members of the band (Brian May and Roger Taylor) one has to wonder if the lack of edginess and the sloppy editing that causes this movie to suffer is because too many people who lived through the story were a part of the filmmaking process.
The film works best when it focuses on the band’s discovery of its greatest hits, when all members of the band come together to write hits such as “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Will Rock You,” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody.” These scenes work because it focuses on these four normal people, these self-proclaimed misfits, coming together to create something so huge that it’s endured decades of social and political change to become iconic.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR FAMILY?
Bohemian Rhapsody openly talks about homo and hetero sex throughout the movie. Homosexuality is explored and discussed, as is the AIDS epidemic. Several persons are dressed immodestly and an unmarried couple is seen in bed together talking. Drinking and the use of drugs is prevalent throughout the movie as well. The f-word, d-word, s-word, and a-word are all used, some on multiple occasions and coupled with milder, but still crass, language.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Family is more than the people to whom you are related; it's also the people you choose.
Bohemian Rhapsody brilliantly recreates some of Queen's greatest concerts. If you dig that, check out U2: Rattle and Hum, featuring some of that bands best concert footage. Rent or buy it here.
Lindsi Neilson currently works for Brigham Young University in the Theatre and Media Arts department, and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time she loves photography, stand up paddle-boarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.