“Bohemian Rhapsody”: Malek’s Performance Holds Together the Flaws

Bohemian Rhapsody

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello. The film is a biography on Freddie Mercury, lead singer of one of the greatest rock groups of all-time, Queen.

Queen has a countless amount of songs that could be considered some of the greatest ever made, and Mercury is an absolute legend, so on that basis alone, I was very excited to see a biopic strictly about him. I also loved the casting of Malek, and had high hopes that he could pull off one of the most unique men to ever exist.

The Good

Malek does indeed pull it off, and in a big way. Malek manages to capture most of everything that made Mercury such an interesting figure. From the outlandish personality to his sexuality and the way he carried himself, I believed that Malek was Mercury for much of this film, and that is not an easy task to succeed in.

I enjoyed the dynamic of Mercury with the bandmates quite a bit, and found the scenes involving all of the members to be most of the best ones aside from the obvious concert moments. Lee, Hardy and Mazzello are all great alongside Malek, and the chemistry, or occasional lack thereof, between all four pieces of Queen was great to watch.

Yes, the concerts are terrific, exciting, exhilarating and the correct amount of nostalgic. Though it is a shame Malek couldn’t handle more of the singing aspect, that is a near impossible task to pull off, and the film does a strong job at working in vocals to make the performances feel genuine. The Live Aid scene was everything I hoped it would be, and did enough to hold up against the real life performance, which remains one of the best ever.

Everything “Bohemian Rhapsody” does surrounding the title song is fantastic. I love the scenes creating the iconic track, as well as what is said about it not being a radio single. The performance of the song towards the end is also gorgeous, and had me singing from my seat in the theater.

The Bad

Even with all the enjoyment that this movie did give me, it is far from perfect. The most glaring issue being how cliche the film can be at times. For a biopic on one of the most eccentric, exciting men to ever live, the movie’s structure is incredibly by the numbers, and fails to bring much new to the table. There are plenty of cheesy moments that, while nostalgic or emotional, fall flatter because I have seen things like them before.

The movie has to fit in a ton, and even at a runtime over two hours, that is hard to do. But still, there are times where it feels like Singer is trying to throw every little fact or snippet of Mercury’s life into the story, even when it is unnecessary. It hurts even more that large portions of this film are simply not true, or are rearranged in the timeline so much that they might as well be lies. Because of this, the film suffers to have that replay value other biopics can have, and makes me think less of the finished product because of how much was changed from the truth.

Above all, this movie really should have been rated R, because Mercury was a rated R human being. The PG-13 rating lowers the extremes of a very extreme man, and makes the movie mundane and have to shy away from what were surely extremely brutal, potentially graphic things that Mercury did in his private life.

Conclusion

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a fun film to watch, but not one that will go down as a classic. I had a great time watching Malek nail the role, and seeing so many phenomenal songs come back to life. There are plenty of flaws that lower the finished product, but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the movie. Is it the mess that critics are calling it? Not entirely, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” is certainly not the masterpiece that it could have been.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “Bohemian Rhapsody” here

What did you think of “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Comment below with your thoughts.


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