Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Bohemian Rhapsody

Summary: Before they were the greatest rock band of all time, they were just four blokes from London: Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), Brian May (Gwilym Lee), and, of course, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malik). From playing in grimy pubs to glorious stages across the Atlantic, the band dealt with many hardships like rigid producers and internal fighting. But the biggest challenge comes from Freddie discovering his sexuality in a time where being gay was, to say the least, frowned upon. Tensions mount as tempers explode as they try their best to hold it together. They are Queen… and this is their story.

Review: Bohemian Rhapsody is an excellent film overall, though I do have some notes. A particular beef is that the pacing is a bit off in the beginning, almost like the filmmakers are rushing through the early stuff to get to the juicy parts. Methinks that a lot was left on the cutting room floor because it seemed very rushed. However, once the movie got past its first act, things got brilliant as the editing, visuals, and cinematography became daring and creative, just like the band.

One of the high notes (no pun intended) is Malik as Mercury, who many people claim is spot on, though I wouldn’t know because I haven’t seen any footage of him. He’s got a whole affect going and it gets better as the movie goes on and he transforms into the legend himself, mustache and all. They even got his ethnicity right — yeah, it turns out that Freddie wasn’t white, British, or even named Freddie, but an Iranian born in Zanzibar named Farrokh Bulsara (I actually didn’t know this until a day before seeing it). They also dub over Malik’s singing with recordings of Freddie, which is absolutely the right call with a voice as legendary his. Accept no substitutions.

Unfortunately, while we get to know Freddie incredibly well, this comes at the expense of the rest of the band. True, Freddie has the best story to tell, but I don’t know anything about the other members apart from their names (which even then, I had to look them up to remind me who was who) and some bits of their personalities that are mostly told instead of shown. Compare this to Straight Outta Compton, where I came away feeling like I knew Easy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube intimately. Here, you could switch around their names and I wouldn’t know the difference, which is a noticeable hiccup when the film is trying to emphasize how important everyone in the band is.

Critics have accused this film of historical inaccuracies and I believe it. It seems ludicrous that Live Aid didn’t raise any money before Queen played their set and it comes off as the film trying to overly polish Queen’s mic stand, if you catch my drift. Even so, it’s hard to deny the excellent filmmaking in the movie, particularly the Live Aid segment which was positively cosmic. It’s not perfect — it does fall into a few cliches from band movies (SPOILERS! The movie has Queen break up and get back together again, which absolutely did not happen… SPOILERS OVER!) — but that doesn’t keep it from being brilliant, particularly when it focuses on Freddie’s struggles and turbulent relationships. I don’t see anyone having a bad time here unless they’re a massive Queen enthusiast and purist. Myself, I’ve loved Queen since I heard them in Highlander and I give this a thumbs…

Hang on… the movie didn’t touch on the band working on the Highlander soundtrack. How dare the movie omit such an essential piece of the band’s history! 0 out of 10! Worst biopic ever! Torch the albums!

Fun Tidbit: After the band records the titular song, they present it to a record producer played by Mike Myers. He dismisses it, claiming that no teenagers would be head banging to Bohemian Rhapsody in their car. One of Myers’ most iconic roles is in the 90s film Wayne’s World, where he and his friends do just that, though they aren’t exactly teenagers.

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