Am I broken? Can I not connect with the biographical subject matter on-screen if I don’t follow the artist religiously? Will I like the eventual Chester Bennington biopic regardless of the content?
Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the life of the one and only Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek captures the flamboyant persona of the once-known Farrokh Bulsara excellently. The wide-eyed actor carries the entire feature, which comprises of Freddie’s early days working as a baggage handler at Heathrow. The script takes us through his struggles with his family, the initial meet up with the remaining members of Smile, early years of the Queen – portraying their highs and highs until the eventual split. Thrown in the mix is his relationship with his girlfriend-turned-fiance Mary Austin, his struggles with his sexuality, office politics with the band’s managers, and so on.
The movie does everything right down to a T. The production design captures the 70s flawlessly. The makeup and costume are as authentic as they can ever be. Even the dialogues and the direction choices are impressive. There are bursts of brilliance sprinkled all over the place. Sadly, this biopic isn’t as glorious as its leading man.
Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t try to live up to the brilliance of the late singer-songwriter. You go in expecting a dissection, a breakdown of what makes Queen sounds stick, which isn’t there. It’s not as focused as Whiplash. It isn’t as raw as Straight Outta Compton. Safe choices all around make it appear like a generic feature. Take out Mercury, and you’ve got squat.
It is a feature-length version of your favourite song’s behind-the-scenes. The movie will make you sing and cheer along the tunes. If that’s all you’re looking for, go for the concerts.