Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody
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I don’t really like biographies. Quite often, they push the saw too much, they are too long, and a lot of filmmakers and actors unfortunately think that it is more important that everything is “right” in their film, which can often limit the filmmakers and the people in front of the camera. Although, paradoxically, many viewers will appreciate the fact that someone who looks like their favorite painter/poet/athlete/metalworker is begging for an Oscar in the lead role. No matter that he is played by a clog and the whole thing is as fun as meeting the auditor. Of course there are exceptions, but let’s just say that I avoid this genre because it usually doesn’t offer much new or unusual stuff. Bohemian Rhapsody does it a little differently. Although I’m not entirely sure it was a good decision.

If you read the distributor’s official text, it begins with the sentence “The film Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of the rock group Queen, their music and above all Freddie Mercury…”. And he doesn’t shit. This is not a classic biography. Of course, here you will find everything important about how the band came together and how Mercury captivated the music world with his voice, charisma and absolute concert commitment. There are, of course, scenes where famous hits are created, gigantic concerts and some of the more intense moments between the heroes, but you won’t get a regular biography. Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher, who replaced the former during filming, send an ode to the music of Queen, Mercury’s personality and the kind of show they were able to create.

Above all, the whole thing wants to be a spectacular spectacle, which can totally rock in the concert scenes (go to the cinema with the best possible sound), it’s briskly filmed and moves very quickly. Most of us probably didn’t experience Queeny at her peak, but the filmmakers managed to transfer their energy into the film in such a way that you start to feel as if you were standing in the front row at a Live Aid concert and singing along with Freddie. It’s breathtaking, epic, energetic, and at times chilling. But the whole time you will probably have a legitimate feeling that something is missing.

If you followed the events surrounding the preparation of Bohemian Rhapsody, you probably noticed that a few years ago Sacha Baron Cohen was supposed to play the main role, but the project ended up being dropped because the three remaining members of Queen did not want a harsh biography that would also show the ugly truth. And they obviously stuck to that, because Bohemian Rhapsody tries to be “nice and pleasant” entertainment almost to the core. It wouldn’t even matter so much that he wants to say an awful lot and just bites a lot of things and quickly runs away from them.

As long as it’s well looked after, there’s not much reason to think about it. But once you get started, you’ll probably find that you’re missing something. The film avoids almost everything unpleasant and negative. Not only does Mercury’s terminal illness bite in only two scenes, and the moment when his ego gets in over his head isn’t as fleshed out as it probably deserves, some of the less pleasant motifs and themes are deliberately ignored by the filmmakers. At the same time, Mercury’s promiscuity, his relationship with his conservative father, or a more detailed examination of how he coped with loneliness, directly call for some more thorough treatment. But you won’t get any of that here.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years there was another story about Queen and Mercury, which approached the entire history of the rock legend in a more sober and less celebratory way. Bohemian Rhapsody obviously does not want to be such a film. It is rather a celebration of one of the most outstanding singers of the twentieth century and the friendship of four boys who managed to change the world of music. But come to think of it, that’s exactly what the movie promised, so getting upset that it’s going down this path is about as silly as being upset that Adam Sandler’s new comedy lacks character development.

But even if you do have a problem with it, there are still things to praise regardless of how much Bohemian Rhapsody suits you or not. I already mentioned the brisk direction, but of course we can’t forget the actors. Rami Malek can probably look forward to a lot of nominations and awards, because his Mercury could not possibly be more genuine, whether on stage, at wild parties or in more moderate scenes. And while everyone has significantly less space around him, everyone gets at least one scene to steal for themselves, and at least the rest of the time they look almost perfectly like the real Queens.

Play the trailerAs a fan, I have to say that it was a hell of a joy to watch for two hours. Of course, if you’re not a fan, expect solid craftsmanship, but not much else. On the other hand, it is evident that Bohemian Rhapsody was created primarily for those fans… You decide for yourself if you appreciate this approach.

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