And one assumes that they will feel compelled to love Bohemian Rhapsody because the love Queen elicits from its fans online borders on the obsessive. Though, biopics are fun to watch but they are almost always controversial projects that either go too far in their exploration of the subject matter or not far enough.
It All Starts By Chance
Bohemian Rhapsody features Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury who was born in Zanzibar from where he was christened Farrokh Bulsara, fled from his small, conservative town in the 1970s so he can be free from obstacles. Already brimming with dreams of pursuing the rock and roll lifestyle, Freddie visited a nightclub to hear his favorite band play. Destiny came calling when the band in question suffered a setback.
Their lead singer quit and, after an impromptu interview, Freddie won his position. He changed his last name to Mercury, and the band became Queen’. Over the course of the next several years, the singer’s amazing vocal range astonished audiences the world over and won Queen a diehard following.
The rock star married his sweetheart and for a time, he and his band seemed all but invincible. But fame wasn’t without its price. And the adoring fans and the sold-out stadiums and the multi-platinum albums brought with them drugs and alcohol.
You can watch how Mercury tried to pursue a solo career but his efforts came to naught. At last, once he had come to the end of his own strength, he was given little choice but to apologize to his former bandmates in the hopes that Queen would reform and find their groove just in time to play the Live Aid Show in 1985.
Fantastic Actors And Director
Most people know Bohemian Rhapsody’s production was fraught with problems from the very beginning. The announcement of Sacha Baron Cohen’s casting was met with fervent enthusiasm from industry professionals. Sacha ultimately abandoned the project because he disagreed with the direction a member of Queen wanted the story to take.
But even critics of Sacha’s departure were quick to praise the casting of Rami Malek who proved that he had all the talent he would need.
It should be noted that even though Bryan Singer is credited as the director of this movie, he was actually fired from the role last year. Dexter Fletcher stepped up to finish a project that some thought would end in disaster. Fletcher has been commended for stepping into a difficult position, taking the reins of a project that another director had shaped and molded for so long and, ultimately, delivering a product that resembles a film.
The fact that Bohemian Rhapsody survived all the obstacles that were thrown its way is a miracle. And the feat the movie had to achieve was far from easy. The film to chronicle the meteoric rise and eventual fall of rock legend who died of an illness related to Aids in 1991.
Rami Malek’s character is more or less fully-formed when viewers first meet him, a relatively shy young man who is, none the less, confident about his abilities. In a way, Bohemian Rhapsody feels too much like a Biopic, following the over-used tropes of an underdog that must overcome great odds to achieve success online.
Fletcher makes it seem like Queen’s origins were straightforward and uncomplicated. Mercury only had to be in the right place at the right time to make his talents known. And once Roger Taylor and Brian May brought him onboard, success was all but guaranteed.
Opinions about Malek’s performance have been somewhat divisive. It has been said on numerous occasions that Freddie Mercury’s musical talents were the result of his extra teeth. The rock star was born with four more incisors than the average person and that created a little more space in his mouth, thus allowing for a more advanced vocal range.
So, of course, Malek had to complement his performance with a set of dental prosthetics. It should be noted, though, that while the actor initially struggles to bring the spirit of Freddie Mercury during his earlier years to the screen, he eventually finds his strides in the latter sections of the movie, especially once he loses the mullet and Queen blows up.
Some effort is made to highlight the role the band played in Freddie’s rise to superstardom. As characters, May and Taylor definitely take a back seat to their lead singer. If Sacha Baron Cohen is to be believed, they wanted a far larger role in the project. But one assumes that most people who flooded the theaters did so specifically because of Freddie Mercury, not the other members of Queen.
Bohemian Rhapsody is rated PG13 so there are lines it couldn’t have possibly crossed, but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the movie is a safe to watch for most young viewers. While sex is implied it isn’t shown and there is no graphic nudity. A few coarse words are thrown around but nothing particularly extreme.