Rob Reviews "Bohemian Rhapsody"
The story of Queen is one that I would not say is well-documented but at the same time is not one that has stayed hidden for any amount of time. Four young men from England took their love for music, theatrics, storytelling, and pushing boundaries to superstardom the likes of which still have them touring the world to this day, even after the death of front man Freddie Mercury in 1991. From “American Idol” winner Adam Lambert to “Bad Company” lead singer Paul Rodgers, their music continues to capture generation after generation of fans from stadiums to arenas. Their story now comes to the big screen with “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Rami Malek plays the iconic Mercury from the time that he first meets Bryan May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) to adding John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) and their ups, downs, revelations, triumphs, and struggles culminating with their legendary Live Aid performance. With Bryan Singer being labeled as the director (he did most of it until his own scandal, along with his eccentricities getting him fired and replaced by Dexter Fletcher who handled “Eddie the Eagle”), this is a very entertaining and visually incredible tale that is told with a level of respect for its subjects that stays honest without going into areas that the majority of us didn’t already know.
Featuring a supporting cast that includes “Game of Thrones” alum Aidan Gillen, Lucy Boynton, and Mike Myers, I enjoyed this film much more than I had anticipated that I would (and I held the bar pretty high here). From the trailers, I had some apprehension of Malek in scenes pre-moustache, but was all in otherwise. By the time the film started and the story was under way, his performance captivated me so deeply that I was sold from the get-go. Lee, Hardy, and Mazzello are also nothing short of stellar here complimented by incredible work by costume designer Julian Day and a vast team of makeup artists.
I have seen from others how they felt this did not tell enough of Freddie’s story or that it was not true to the band itself with timeline issues and such, but for a guy that has more than the average knowledge of this story and speaking with some who are deeply rooted in their history, I felt “Bohemian Rhapsody” tells the story of a band’s rise to fame and fortune along with everything that comes with it very well. Although I won’t say that it pulls no punches, it does enough showing of the blemishes on each front that gave me the understanding of the dynamic between the band, their management, the record label, and even each other that did not make me feel like I was missing out on anything.
There could definitely been an “R” rated version done (and possible already is), but in order to get this story to more of a mass audience, I understand the decision to make this a “PG-13” film, and it does so in a way that still is able to convey its message without watering it down too much. Do we need to see ALL of the darkness that surrounded Mercury as global fame and the eventual acceptance of who he is and its affect on those around him? I truly don’t think so, but for those uninitiated with the story of Queen, this story gives the opportunity for those interested to find out more on their own. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is everything that a certain other film about musicians released recently wishes it could have been, and I stand by that, so “at” me if you feel the need. Go see this film in any way you can (any premium format would TOTALLY benefit from this), and just give yourself over to this amazing tale.