I saw this movie the weekend before last, before it came out in Australia and the US. I’m sorry to post it only now, but as you know, I was busy with my Blog Tour. Here’s my review of that long-awaited movie.
I must honestly say that when I heard Rami Malek was going to play Freddie Mercury, I thought ‘wtf?’ I didn’t think he looked anything like Freddie and thought he wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But he did. He portrayed him beautifully. Yes, the teeth were a bit too much, I never thought Freddie’s teeth were that prominent, but maybe it was the mustache that hid that.
Gwilym Lee was very well cast as Brian May. I actually had to look twice sometimes to make sure it wasn’t Brian May himself. I saw him recently at a lecture in Aberdeen, and he looked exactly the same as so many years ago (perhaps some more grey hairs :D). Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon were more easily picked as lookalikes.
I actually didn’t know the story of Mary Austin, played by Lucy Boynton, and her relationship with Freddie, so I can’t compare Lucy to the real Mary.
Most people already know the story of Queen. How Freddie got to join the band, how they struggled with conformity, how they kept on making hit after hit, that they had a lul in their performances, and how Freddie looked ill when they resumed their creativity due to, as was later revealed, him suffering from AIDS.
My sister took her daughter to the cinema the other day to see The Nutcracker. I asked her how it was and she said, “The story was very predictable.” Um, sis, everybody knows the story of The Nutcracker. That’s not what you’re going to watch it for. Likewise with Bohemian Rhapsody. You’re not going to watch it to find out what happened. You’re going to watch it to relive that moment of glory.
What I liked about Bohemian Rhapsody
I loved, loved the way Rami Malek portrayed Freddie. He did an awesome job crawling under his skin. I loved hearing Freddie perform again. It was entertaining to see his quirkiness, his perseverance, his perfectionism. I liked seeing that Queen was a group performance. Yes, Freddie was their frontman, but as was clear in the movie, Freddie was nothing without the others.
I loved Mike Myer’s guest role as Ray Foster, the EMI executive.
What I didn’t like about Bohemian Rhapsody
Let’s be honest; the storyline was crap. ‘Oh, but that’s what happened,’ I hear you say. Yes, and that’s exactly what I think is the problem with this movie. It is a string of events. There is no real storyline, no build-up of anything. No character arcs, no tension build-up, nothing. Just one event after the other. But this is a movie. It needs a storyline. I had expected better.
A lot of people complain that the movie doesn’t portray the ‘real’ Freddy Mercury. I agree, but that’s not what the film is about. It’s about Queen. Freddie was only a part of it. I guess the movie failed in this respect because it was advertised wrongly and expectations were not met.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a must to watch if you’re a fan of Queen. Don’t watch it to see the private life of Freddie Mercury. Don’t watch it to see a great story. Watch it for the music, to relive that wonderful time when Queen ruled the charts.