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BBC – Culture – Film Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

"We must become experimental," says Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, as Queen records his debut album. It was obvious that…

“We must become experimental,” says Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, as Queen records his debut album. It was obvious that no one said the same to the people who made the movie. Mercury’s long-awaited biopic can be named after the queen’s superlatively innovative anthem, but it has barely a fraction of that singer’s arrogant greatness or adventurous spirit. It looks like a day operation and it goes through the same chord progression as any previous rock biopic. In other words, some musicians gather together; They record their biggest hits while they carry a consequence of less than convincing shaggy wigs. and their wealth rises, falls and rises again.

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Scripted by Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour, Theory of Everything and other such effective superficial non-fiction drama), Bohemian Rhapsody stops for a structure that could have seemed cliché during the queen’s greatness, and has been unforgivable because it was parodied in Walk Hard. But thanks to its sympathetic, charismatic leading man and part of the 20th century most refreshing pop music, the film only deserves the review given to the group’s most memorable single and quoted halfway: it’s “perfectly adequate.”

It would definitely have been worse. The production was so worried that the credited director, Bryan Singer, was replaced by Dexter Fletcher, so the finished movie is much more consistent than it could have been. It introduces Freddie (Rami Malek) when he is still called Farrokh Bulsara. He has just moved with his Indian Parsi family from Zanzibar to England and has recovered like a long-haired London Clubber – much because he was not afraid of his loving but conservative parents (Ace Bhatti and Meneka Das). Not that the movie has a lot of time for the family vacation. After just a few minutes, Bulsara meets a student rock band called Smile (comfortably, their main singer just finished). And after a few minutes he recreates himself Freddie Mercury and the band Queen.

There is a smallness and fairness to the movie, which suggests that it costs less to do than one of their albums

Bohemian Rhapsody has the trouble to remind us that the group’s other members wrote many of their hits – one by one Those chances to say, “Hi, I have an idea for a song!” But they do not do much else. We really do not learn how or why they developed their unique combination of musical styles. Someone who has never been shown separately shows the non-Freddie band members as a trio, occasionally struggling through a stupid banter and then disappearing leaving only a slight impression of who is who. As far as I could handle, Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), the drummer, a woman and the most likely to argue with Freddie; Brian May (Gwilym Lee – a dead caller), the guitarist, is the gentle peacekeeper; and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), the bassist, is – yes, everything he does is smack from the sidelines, which may be because Taylor and May helped produce the movie, and Deacon did not.

With the help of various executives (including two played by Aidan Gillen and Tom Hollander), and different montages, the band makes the familiar journey to global superstardom, but it does not seem like everything global or all that super. Mercury once declared that the queen was Cecil B DeMille of rock band, because they always wanted everything to be bigger and better, but there is a smallness and cheapness for the movie, which suggests that it costs less to make than one of their albums. Where is the glamor? Where are the famous faces and the spectacular escapades? Bohemian Rhapsody could for a great deal of time be an indie band who made a top 10 single.

Mercury rising

But hold on to it. With all respect for May, Taylor and Deacon, the film improves exponentially when ignoring them and concentrating on mercury. That’s when there ends up being some decent but stupid guys who talk about texts and begin to be about an outsider who is overwhelmed by loneliness, afflicted by his sexuality and through depression and depended on what amusements can bring him through the night. Alien from the band, he calls his family, just as he had fallen out with his biological family a decade earlier, Mercury is alone with his pet treasures, a bunch of hangers-on and a soul mate, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), who goes from being his fiancé to his platonic friend.

Malek resembles Mercury more and more when the film continues

The film’s emphasis on this straightforward relationship has led to the mood of social media. Similarly, there has been a complaint about the decision to make it a common crowd with a 12A / PG13 certificate, when in reality her hero was so scared that he could have given Casanova lessons. But these objections are not entirely fair. While it is true that Bohemian Rhapsody does not put much on the screen that would scare the family’s audience, it acknowledges that Mercury popped pills, visited fetish clubs, threw the wildest festivals in town and, after some soul search, embraced life as a gay man. Mom Mia, it’s not.

It also affects surprisingly, largely because of Malek’s rich performance. Mercury was due for a while by Sacha Baron Cohen and then Ben Whishaw. But Malek does the role of his own: he seems to be obsessed with both pouting, preening showman Mercury was public and the sulky lost soul he could be private. The unpleasant thing is that Malek resembles Mercury more and more when the film continues – nothing like him at first but almost inseparable from him at the end. And he has such a surprisingly expressive face that he can even act while wearing a huge set of ghost-fake teeth: Mercury may have had a surplus in reality, but in the movie he has gone to rival a cartoon canine.

Malek’s finest moment is also Mercury’s finest moment: when he supports the stage at Wembley Stadium, so much of a monarch as his band’s name actor, for the Queens career-alive Live Aid set in 1985. The boldest decision of the movie-maker is to include almost the whole set. But by this time they have been given the right to make a drama for a triumph video. Bohemian Rhapsody can pull you or annoy you for an hour like that. But in the end it will rock you and it can only move you too.

★★★ ☆☆

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