Bohemian Rhapsody.

Bohemian Rhapsody2

By Joanna Langfield

If, indeed, the intent of this bio-pic is to chronicle the events that led to Queen and Freddie Mercury’s legendary performance at Live Aid, well, I guess the goal has been met. The movie, as it is, is fine. But it could have been so much more.

Freddie Mercury was, no doubt, one of the most magnetic performers in rock and roll. Stepping into his Adidas here is no easy feat. But Rami Malek is terrific, nailing not just the look, but the physicality and emotions of the somewhat enigmatic superstar. The focus of the film is primarily on him, his life story, told in episodic fashion, documents but never focuses with real grit or intent on his back round, sexuality and death from AIDS. It’s all there, but just there, serving as footnotes to the music. Once in a while, we do get treated to some more interesting stuff. Scenes taking us into recording sessions and firey management meetings (hello, Mike Meyers!) made me sit up in my seat, but the real winner is the reenactment of the knockout Live Aid appearance. If you’re not singing along, we have nothing to talk about.

It should be noted that it’s almost a miracle this movie has hit the screen at all. After several reincarnations, earning credits for some in the final piece and reports of notorious situations during production, it’s remarkable how even tempered this final product has turned out to be. Many people will be happy with that. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, watching a rather standard approach to tell the story of a man and a band who insisted their music be anything but.