Bohemian Rhapsody: flawed but fabulous
Bohemian Rhapsody – the high-octane biopic of Freddie Mercury and Queen – is emblematic of the 1975 classic tune of the same name: it shouldn’t work, but it does.
Critics haven’t been kind to the movie, but audiences have. It’s quickly become a box office smash, proving yet again that the mainstream are more than happy to paper over the cracks (and Bo Rhap has many) if entertainment is delivered in spades.
The music is, of course, magnificent; the concert footage is as good as any in the history of music biopics (look no further than the aerial shot of the Live Aid concert that rounds out the film); and Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie is so breathtakingly nuanced that the producers’ efforts to pitch Bohemian Rhapsody as a movie about the quartet rather than their frontman have largely been in vain.
Of course, Freddie’s life was one littered with complication and the spectre of death hangs lightly over the film’s back half, but most will leave the cinema feeling much the same as fans in the day would have following one of their gigs: fully alive.
Which, in a nomophobic, self-absorbed and often senseless world, can only be a good thing.
The Live Aid sequence – particularly the stellar performance of “Radio Ga Ga”. Download it on iTunes. Now.