Review: Bohemian Rhapsody
Under (studio) Pressure
Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) from the beginning. He meets his life long friend Mary (Lucy Boynton) his eventual Queen band mates, Brian May, (Gwilym Lee) Roger Taylor, (Ben Hardy) and John Deacon. (Joseph Mazzello) Then we see the rise and fall of Mercury's tumultuous career.
This movie is the definition of uneven. It's a shame because Queen was a great band that deserved a great movie and what they got was a script that still managed to be messy even though they were playing it as "safe" as possible. Biopics tend to follow a tight formula and few ever take risks. This followed the exact same pattern Walk The Line did to a T, but never balanced out the way they did. What is it with biopics? Why are some so great (The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything) and others so...blah?
I think the makers of Bohemian Rhapsody were more concerned with making Freddie as "big" as possible than actually being factual. Poor Rami Malek is fighting those fake teeth at various points in this film. Mercury's overbite was not THAT bad. Just like he seemed to be a lot more guarded in interviews compared to how he is here. And never mind the fact that they add drama where there wasn't and move his AIDS diagnosis up a few years to make the Live Aid gig more sentimental despite the fact that they didn't need to do that at all.
It's all the most frustrating because when the actors are playing music, they shine. All their recording sessions and performances on stage are magnificent. The recreation of the Live Aid concert is easily one of my favorite things I've seen this year, but when they're not performing the script doesn't give them anything else to do. The band mates all have great chemistry but we learn nothing about anyone but Mercury.
The actors are tasked with making this soar, but shoddy editing, a basic script, and poor direction make this film sink.
Recommended: Yes for the music, no for the script
Memorable Quote: "We're all legends." - Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek)