Bohemian Rhapsody: Mercury Rising

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2018 at 17:26


From: https://themoviemylife.files.wordpress.com

Bohemian Rhapsody (BR) starts with Freddy Mercury leaving his family home as a young man to go to see a favorite band, Smile. He meets the members of the band, including guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. They just happen to have lost their singer and Mercury convinces May and Taylor to take him on. 

The film jumps to Queen as recording artists. Suddenly, they are on Top of the Pops singing ‘Killer Queen’. A lot of their early career is left out, and that mainly works.  And while there are some unnecessary fabrications of Queen’s history in the film, most of the changes are innocuous and don’t damage the plot. See the set list for the film here

The biopic mainly focuses on Freddy Mercury, but there is enough of the band to satisfy most Queen fans. The film did well  picking out the essential moments of their career, though, I would have liked to see more about the development of their most complicated and adventurous song, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Before I get too far along, I want to say that Rami Malik was amazing as Mercury. He was able to not only demonstrate the overwhelming charisma of Mercury on stage, but also the sad, melancholy moments and his identity confusion. And Malik did all this without even being British. Score one for Americans playing British icons for a change! Seriously, he’s good. 

Equally good, if not better, is Gwilym Lee as Brian May. I have seen old and new interviews with May and Gwilym has him down from his voice to the slight tilt of the head May makes when he’s arguing a point. Lucy Boynton as Mercury’s friend and one time wife, Mary Austin, was also excellent. And she was also born the U.S.A.! Ha! Okay, she grew up in London. She’s good, is the point, and she can do more. I hope we get to see her and Gwilym in more films.  

Bohemian Rhapsody is a song that stands in stark contrast to many of Queens simplistic hits like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ Moreover, the dark complexity of their hit song is quite different from their more upbeat tunes like ‘Radio Gaga.’ 

You don’t have to be a big Queen fan to enjoy this film. In fact, I frankly don’t think some of their hits are that great. The film does, however, help me appreciate them more. The biggest hit and title track to the film is by far their best. Two songs I would have liked to experienced in the film are ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and ‘Death on Two Legs.’ However, there is plenty of music from the band throughout the well-paced film. 

Rollingstone Magazine fact check of the film. 

The film is good looking and well edited. One reviewer I read said BR didn’t show enough of the dark-side of Mercury’s life. Clearly, they wanted another film. More darkness was not required to see how Mercury struggled and at times, was quite an arrogant prick. It’s all in there, BR just doesn’t dwell on the negative and ends on a high note. 

Rating: Pay full price.

Tex Shelters

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