Before I start this review I want to mention that this isn’t a co-directed movie, though I put Fletcher and Singer side by side. Singer was the movies original director and was removed from production. Fletcher was brought in to replace him very far into production. This is more Singer’s movie than Fletcher but I feel I should at least credit them together as directors. Despite the change in directors, Bohemian Rhapsody is still a by the numbers biopic. It doesn’t neccasirly do a lot wrong, just not enough to separate itself from an overcrowded market. It’s a shame when tackling such a famous band like Queen.
Its a shame we never got the movie Sacha Baren Cohen wanted to make, otherwise, it could have made for a more interesting movie. There was a lot Bohemian Rhapsody showed me that I wanted to see more off. Mostly the secret life of Mercury himself, then again it wouldn’t be very family, would it? This is less a story about their lead singer as it is about the band Queen. A lot of people will enjoy this as its what they’ve paid to see. Personally, I would love a biopic all centred around Mercury and his eccentric lifestyle.
Rami Malek deserves all the praise he’s getting for portraying Freddy Mercury. As do all the other band members. I don’t want to shy over Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor who did an outstanding job. Malek is easily the greatest part of the movie and he stops it from becoming nothing more than average. His charisma and amazing on screen present shine throughout. A big issue with the movie is nothing ever seems to get worse for Queen until quite late into the movie. They have quite an easy journey for years, going from gig to gig never really encountering any issues. There’s a montage in the movie that skips over years of Queen’s rise to fame. This was something I really didn’t appreciate and left me wanting so much more.
The clear issue with the movie is that its completely about Queen, when it should have been equally balanced with the tales of Mercury’s personal life. Making for a much more entertaining look into their lives. Barely any time is spent with Mary Austin, the love of his life. Everything that is told to us is stuff we already know, only loosely going over his HIV diagnosis, relationships, drugs, and sex life. I constantly wanted to know more about all of these but the movie never took us there. Instead, trying to make it more family friendly.
The final twenty minutes are spectacular, showing when Queen performed at Live Aid in 1985. Rami Malek gives his all in the movies final moments. His performance on stage, to his acting performance. It all helps to end the movie on a high. It’s a shame we didn’t get more of this throughout the movie.
Overall, Bohemian Rhapsody is a by the numbers biopic. It’s an entertaining movie and fans of Queen will certainly find many things to like. However, as it stands the movie is a mess at times with an unclear focus. Rami Malek gives one of the best performances of the year in a movie that should feel more exciting that it actually is.
Bohemian Rhapsody (6.5/10)
Director: Dexter Fletcher/Bryan Singer
Runtime: 134 Minutes