Film Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

ICM Film
8

ICM Rating

Bohemian Rhapsody stars Rami Malek as the late singer Freddie Mercury, most of you will, of course, recognise Malek from the critically acclaimed Amazon Prime series “Mr Robot”. But if that doesn’t ring any bells for you then check this out and I guarantee he will be on your radar afterwards because this is an absolutely phenomenal performance. It almost feels like an insult to refer to it as a performance because here Malek practically embodies Mercury and in a film such as this, anything else just wouldn’t be good enough.

Freddie Mercury was one in a million, truly larger than life, so I can only imagine the pressure must have been crippling for Malek to fill these shoes. He admirably rises to the challenge and suddenly it seems absurd to think that he wasn’t actually the first choice to play this role. Initially, comedy star Sacha Baron Cohen was said to be the man for the job and granted he does bare a remarkable resemblance to Freddie, but that’s where the buck stops. In terms of actually delivering a solid performance, I’m not convinced his portrayal of Freddie would have been anywhere near as good and I know a lot of people have said the same.

I believe things probably worked out for the best as far as that’s concerned, I guess we’ll never really know for sure what could have been. Production for Bohemian Rhapsody was just a nightmare in general though and not just when it came to who should play Freddie. This film has actually been in the making for years now and it’s a miracle it was ever released. Director Bryan Singer was fired from the project after 85% of the shooting had been completed. Dexter Fletcher stepped in from there to finish things off, although Singer is the only director credited which seems rather odd. However, despite this production disaster, Bohemian Rhapsody has been absolutely killing it at the box office.

It’s not a perfect film, in some ways the production complications are quite noticeable. But to be honest I think it was always destined to be popular, after all, it’s a film about Queen, a band loved by so many. Heck even if you don’t like them I still think there needs to be respected on some level, they were revolutionary and that’s exactly why their music has stood the test of time. I mean you’ll have to look pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t know the words to some of their greatest hits.

Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely worth you checking out, the only issue I’d say is the film’s focus. It’s indecisive about what it wants to be and so instead of actually making a decision, it tries to combine two very different approaches. Bohemian Rhapsody is partly a deep and heartfelt biopic of Freddie’s life, but it’s also a journey through Queen’s discography, charting how some of their most popular tracks came to be. The final scene depicts Queen’s legendary appearance at Live Aid back in 1985 and every major hit that hasn’t already been featured in the film beforehand. It’s a desperate scramble to squeeze as many recognisable tracks in before the credits roll, while Freddie’s story takes a sudden backseat. There’s a huge chunk of his life that’s just told to us through text, it’s a cop out and a real shame because it’s exactly what makes this film just shy of greatness.

Good

  • Rami Malek
  • Fantastic soundtrack (obviously)

Bad

  • Poor ending
  • Meandering plot

Summary

Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely worth you checking out, the only issue I’d say is the film’s focus. It’s indecisive about what it wants to be and so instead of actually making a decision, it tries to combine two very different approaches.
8

ICM Rating