Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

Today I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton.

The life of Freddie Mercury (Malek) is explored with great flair in this loose retelling, which chronicles his rise to fame with Queen through to their landmark performance at Live Aid.

First of all, it can't be understated how good Malek is at capturing Mercury's movements and mannerisms. If you squint you may just not be able to tell the difference. He was a joy to watch because you could tell he was having a ball portraying this legend.

Second, Mary (Boynton), who many claim was the true love of Mercury's life, is given a respectable place in his history (though before this film casual fans may never have heard of her).

Third, the finale, which replicates the famous Live Aid performance is stunning. Note-for-note, prance-for-prance, it's all there in its incredible glory. I went right home afterward and watched the real performance and marveled about how close the film truly got to it.

Now, for the issues: the creative team took liberties with some key facts, which is forgivable if it makes the story better, but I'd argue that Mercury's story was plenty interesting as it really occurred.

Also, the film is called "Bohemian Rhapsody," and we get teased by seeing how the song came to fruition, but we never get a full performance of it, which I thought was a missed opportunity.

And while we're on the topic of songs, I sort of felt like this was a wanna-be musical that would only tease us with the beginnings of the hits (i.e. "We Will Rock You") and then move on to the next scene before our thirst for the music was quenched.

It was also too long. This is a trend in movies these days, to exceed the standard 2-hour running time, but really, less is more. It could've been shorter or they could have used some of the time they took to remind us of his bisexuality and just played the title song.


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