An intentionally grandiose salute to the greatest frontman who ever lived 10/10
For those of you who may have read reviews slating this film, be not afraid. Yes it’s mostly about Freddie Mercury and yes it is a formulaic and obvious trip down memory lane, highlighting all the best things about Queen and not dwelling too much on the rough bits….but Jesus Christ! Isn’t that exactly what you wanted? If you want a no holds barred, hard hitting biography of the band, warts’n all then there’s plenty of that shit out there you can read but this is a movie.
An intentionally grandiose salute to the greatest band and frontman who ever lived and let’s be fair. – it is called Bohemian Rhapsody, not Queen the movie so if it dwells on Freddie, and to be honest, he is by far and away the most interesting character in the band anyway, fair enough surely?
It is one of the best cast films I’ve ever seen. Rami Malek is quite simply the dogs fecking bollocks but every single person in the thing looks and sounds exactly as they are meant to. It breathes lovely life into those stories that you may have read or heard about the formation and history of the band and if it seems a little twee or obvious in parts it is probably because you already know those stories so well anyway as a fan of the band, not because of any mishandling of the script, acting, tone or direction of the thing.
The portrayal of Freddie’s ascension from lowly baggage handler at Heathrow airport to tortured genius, rock superstar is beautifully crafted with little snippets of him writing lyrics on bits of paper and pads in various locations and with varying levels of emotion culminating in a scene in a bedroom where he writes lyrics so fucking beautiful he makes himself cry. Well, me and you both pal. I chose the wrong day to wear eyeliner.
It moves at a steady pace too, but by the end you’ll wish it was a thousand times longer. The end being basically a fantastical reproduction of the Live Aid concert but not in an overproduced, cheesy way. They use most of the actual recording and even bung in a few more mistakes unless mine ears deceive me, but the whole thing is meant to deliver that epic, stadium rock, heaven splitting, lightning bolt of sheer, unadulterated joy and it absolutely delivers that in spades.
The movie as a whole is meant to remind us what Queen actually stood for: quality, experimental rock music that told a story to everybody, young and old, rich and poor, black and white, gay, straight, purple fucking flying fucking zebras with friggin laser beams coming out of their eyes! Whatever. It is inclusive and is meant to inspire us to be better than we are. It is a masterful vehicle that transcends everything we think we know about love and life and our place in the universe. It is hope. 10/10