A review of the new film “Bohemian Rhapsody”

This film of the British rock band Queen has had a troubled journey to the screen with a change of lead actor (Rami Malek replacing Sacha Baron Cohen) and, late in the shooting, a new director (Dexter Fletcher taking over from Bryan Singer).

American-Egyptian Malek is outstanding as Indo-Parsi Freddie Mercury (originally named Farrokh Bulsara), wearing a set of false teeth to create that famous over-bite and the four extra incisors that apparently gave the singer a greater vocal range. And the music is just fantastic which is why the movie should be seen on the big screen. The group had so many iconic hits and the title track was just breathtakingly original (if utterly unintelligible).

But the film has some problems.

The rise and rise of Queen, the four-member group, is not that interesting a story and certainly the remake of “A Star Is Born” – released a few weeks before – has a much more engaging narrative. Mercury’s own story is much more complex, but the film avoids going into too much detail on his sexual activities and hedonistic lifestyle and band members Brian May and Roger Taylor, who co-produced the movie, righly ensure that Mercury does not receive all the credit for the group’s success. Finally some of the dialogue is a bit clunky and some of the visual effects rather naff.

All that said, this is a thoroughly enjoyable romp and the recreation of the 1985 Live Aid concert is alone worth the ticket price.


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