Friday, November 2, 2018

Review Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of world famous rock band Queen, from its humble beginnings to worldwide fame, culminating in a spot on the bill at 1985’s ‘Live Aid’ concert which will go down in history as one of their finest performances. The film is mainly told from Freddie Mercury’s point of view, played here by Rami Malek (‘Mr. Robot’, ‘The Master’), but also gives us many an insight into defining moments throughout the band’s history, from producing their titular song which will go down as one of the best ever, to negotiations between the band and music label EMI, featuring a cheeky cameo from Mike Myers, who famously rocked out to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in 90’s comedy film ‘Wayne’s World’.

All actors give a good account of themselves as their Queen counterparts, particularly Malek who showcases Mercury’s wildly eccentric character, inner struggles with loneliness and sexuality, and Freddie’s well documented overbite with aplomb. On the whole, the film is a thoroughly entertaining watch, particularly for the seasoned Queen fan. We know the rough history, we feel the band’s passion, we all know the songs, and it’s interesting to see a version of events that may explain how some of the songs came together.

Without the band’s strength of musical numbers to keep the film ticking along though, would Bohemian Rhapsody still be considered a success? The main problem the film faces is that the plot does feel very conventional and contrived, with setup dialogue bordering on the cringeworthy at times. Certain scene setups, such as Freddie’s admission to the rest of the band that he has AIDS just before going on the Live Aid stage, are clearly embellished for emotional impact.

For fans of Queen and their songs, Bohemian Rhapsody will be an enjoyable biopic, largely thanks to Rami Malek’s commanding performance, even if technically it’s not the greatest film you’ll ever see.


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