Movie review: Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bryan Singer / Dexter Fletcher (2020)

I’m not against biopics in principle. When I heard one was made on Freddie Mercury, I was highly skeptical, maybe because I like Queen’s music a lot. I would have loved to be proven wrong.

The movie focuses on the life of Freddie Mercury, starting the band Queen, following his career until the Live-8 concert in 1985.

The Good: Some scenes are funny, the costumes look nice, I guess it’s competently shot? of course there is music from Queen.

The Bad: How to say this… It’s like nothing works. I didn’t find any angle on the character of Freddie Mercury that would give me an insight on who he was. Characters just seem to float around, saying things, pretending to be in the 70’s / 80’s. There is no emotion, at all.

My opinion: an utter failure.


Some precisions on why I didn’t like it:

  • Rami Malek seems he cannot speak properly with his fake teeth
  • I don’t think he looks like Freddie Mercury
  • We don’t know who Freddie Mercury is watching this, what motivates him, what he loves, why he sings the way he sings, what he aspires to
  • The treatment of his sexuality is just unimaginative and boring
  • We’re never really shown why Queen was so great, except maybe at the re-creation of the Live-8 performance, but even that isn’t particularly convincing
  • I barely felt any emotion during the whole movie, even though I hold the band’s music very dearly, it started a bit at the Live-8 concert right at the end, but that felt like cheating, they just re-did something that everyone can see (and that is so much better than here)
  • Changing real-life events for dramatization feels cheap, all the drama is resolved just before the Live-8 concert, it’s ridiculous
  • The bits when they come up with the songs, even the titular one, are over in a moment, like it doesn’t matter at all

In terms of performances, liked Lucy Boynton and Aidan Gillen, but that’s pretty much it.

I didn’t like the movie, as a reaction to it I felt that I wanted more Queen, but something actually good. So I watched the Queen, days of our lives documentary (the next article will be about it), and it made me dislike Bohemian Rhapsody even more…

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