It has the feel. It most DEFINITELY has the look…..in fact, the primary reason that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ rises far above being more than a chapter of ‘Behind The Music’ and establishing itself as a pretty special film is the authentic presentation of Queen and their journey to becoming an iconic band.
What it doesn’t have? Depth. Perhaps it’s just too sanitized, or maybe they just didn’t want to do the digging that would scuff the pretty polish of the tale – yes, we witness the arguments, the ego’s, the drugs, etc……but it still comes off a little TOO much like a fairy tale. Most Queen fans wouldn’t be afraid of the warts. In fact, it’s probably what they WANT to see.
That shouldn’t spoil what IS great about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ though, and there really is a lot to admire here. First off, Rami Malek (‘Mr. Robot’) is phenomenal as lead man Freddie Mercury. The child of Palestinian immigrants with a noticeable overbite (which, according to Mercury, gave him spectacular vocal range), Malek plays Freddie with the right amount of swagger – so unapologetic of his style and personality, there was always a bit of a chip on the singer’s shoulder – yet carefully balances that with a sweet gentleness that was also a Mercury trademark.
The concert footage is ambitious as well. The re-creation of Queen’s iconic set at Live Aid in 1985 is director Bryan Singer’s crowning achievement in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which is only right, for Queen fans flocking to see this movie probably have that moment on the highlight reel of their memories of the band. It would’ve been perfect to give them a little more of the grit behind the glam, but there’s no debating the grand scale of the motion picture. Why, it’s as huge as the song that inspired its title.