‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Review

Extra front teeth – that’s how young Freddie Mercury, played with Rami Malek’s magnetic and breathtaking physicality, explains his four-octave vocal range to potential bandmates. Time to come early in Bohemian Rhapsody, a film that doesn’t share Mercury’s front teeth; it does not have. This is not to say that this usual PG-13 portrait of a unique band is nothing to chew on. Or that it doesn’t acknowledge the darker aspects of the story. It always gently emphasizes what is sweet and optimistic about it. Someday, another Queen feature might go deeper. That may or may not make for a better movie. Who says every rock ‘n’ roll biopic has to be wowed Behind the music confessional?

Involvement of band members Brian May and Roger Taylor, as consultants and executive music producers, has more to do with subdued beauty that lessens the possibility of bohemian narrative. . But their involvement also increases the musical authenticity of the document. To the filmmakers’ credit, and while they’re not entirely immune from the troubling episodes that often plague the genre, it’s a biopic that favors sensory experience over show-off. stretch. It understands what pure, electrifying rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Key point

The explosive music says it all; the movie is too often muted.

RELEASE DATE November 2, 2018


Black Swan is in the pop-opera-epic genre of the 1975 single that gives its name to this feature – things radio has never heard before and ever since – cleverly incorporated through the lyrics. tell: the first composing instinct, starting with the melody; flowery, eccentric and serious note-taking session; key performance at the 1985 Live Aid welfare concert for Ethiopia. That last part appears in the bravura scene that covers the film (and notably, the first shot). Bryan Singer, who was replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) is good at shooting schedules, is the film’s trusted director, and his passion for large-scale shoots is obvious. Absorbing seasons, Fletcher – no stranger to the subject, joined the earlier iteration of producer Graham King’s longtime biopic – which built on the work of a production team excellent and spiritual cast. The finished product is full of energy, if not always smooth, its affection for Mercury and Queen is undeniable even when the film is undernourished.

Anthony McCarten’s script, from a story by himself and Peter Morgan (known for writing about another queen), doesn’t leap too far from one moment to the next. It began in 1970 in London, where art student Farrokh Bulsara changed his given name to Freddie, to the painful disapproval of his traditional Parsi father (Ace Bhatti). (One of the more complicated cases of dialogue disinformation concerns Bulsaras’s exodus from Zanzibar when Freddie was a teenager.) Switching to a theatrical-friendly surname is just a matter of minutes. again.

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Stepping into the void left by the dying singer of the local quartet, Freddie sparks brand new ambitions for guitarist May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Taylor (Ben Hardy) and bass player. John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) – all of them, unlike Freddie, have a Plan B if the music doesn’t work out. For something transcendent, unidentifiable called band chemistry, the film doesn’t quite delve into the mystery. The boys call themselves the bad guys playing for the bad guys, which barely captures what makes them unique among rock artists. But when Bohemian Rhapsody zero in their give and take music, it is clear that four creative spirits have joined forces.

As it clicks, the humor, both scripted and improvised, easily emphasizes the bonds of characters. The actors are convincing in the musical sequences, based on Queen’s recordings (and sometimes using Malek’s voice in the mix). However, at key points in the backstory, Lee, Hardy, and Mazzello’s performances are reduced to reaction shots. With the easy camaraderie and responsible artistic mission these performers evoke, too many dramatic opportunities go to waste. As a result, the group’s tension and rift didn’t match the intended force, and Mercury’s growing aggression never really looked like a threat to the band’s cohesion.

It’s not Malek’s fault. Taking on a difficult task, he is more than delivering. Although he is only an inch shorter than Mercury, he is generally smaller and more refined looking, and with his exceptionally large eyes, he will never be a top. However, outfitted with Julian Day’s famously flamboyant outfit and an array of sophisticated outfits, and moved with a chic, muscular look, Malek was transformed.

Alluded to but off-screen is Mercury’s tabloid stroll into the wilderness, which Sacha Baron Cohen, who was previously on the project, has said he hopes to explore. Malek’s passionate gaze suggests to Mercury sexual desire but also a painful innocence. Nearing his 20s when the UK eliminated homosexuality, the male singer was not eager to label his way of life. He has no interest in being an icon or a spokesman.

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And McCarten’s script was more concerned with Mercury’s deep love of performance, and the identity he forged on stage. It’s all there in the way the teenage rocker grapples with the mic stand, floundering at first and then taming it like a beast. From there, his confidence skyrocketed with the band’s popularity, his look transforming from haute hippie to harlequin suit to the stylized machismo suit of the gay skin scene. In the group’s ever-changing march of assault, the even-tempered Baroque composer’s curls were the only constant.

Hair and makeup designer Jan Sewell’s stellar contributions are as essential as Day’s fashion and Aaron Haye’s prolific production design. And fashion is a big part of Mercury’s biography: He and his fiancée Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton, of Sing Street) falls in love at Biba, the prominent fashion boutique where she works and where she tenderly encourages his lingerie diva.

Their love story is the most complicated and best-developed relationship in the movie, no doubt, after truck testers have awakened Freddie’s male charm, Mary remains a friend. my dearest and most steadfast. They were still neighbors, too – his lamp signaled to her a desperate hope in Gatsby’s green light.

But many scenes of the sad rich boy, alone on the satin sheets of his Kensington mansion, fail to shake off the cliché. It also makes the over-the-top bacchanalia Mercury unleashes, with the film trying so hard, like its protagonist, to be shocking – without the R-rated territory needed. After the betrayals Mercury’s personal assistant (Allen Leech) is revealed all too clearly, an unexpected lesson in self-worth from a kind acquaintance (Aaron McCusker) as a welcome page in the star’s story. this rock music.

The biz musical elements of that story strike a lighter note, as you might expect when Mike Myers is hit to play an EMI executive, a quarter of a century later. Wayne’s World put this movie’s title track back on the charts. The almost unrecognizable Myers is the money-guy who used to be the team champion and now just doesn’t get the bent, six-minute “Bo Rhap” genre, as Freddie, a prisoner without a prisoner, bouncing around. back to the office like a frog, calling their new song. This scene has a bit of the tension of the hard-to-reach manifesto, which is partially overcome by its final punchline, many scenes later.

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Bo Rhap the film is standing the most firmly in the musical sequence. The studio experiments are fun, the big concerts are appropriate, and John Ottman’s editing connects them seamlessly, as when a bass line doodle scribble after one another doesn’t leave the studio to Madison. Square Garden.

Call it romance or love, but Queen built at least one song, “We Will Rock You,” around the idea of ​​audience participation and the film is, most memorably, a record. concept of what is shared, whether the band is arguing about Beelzebub and the “exaggerated Galileo figaro,” or thousands of ticket holders singing a song of single-syllable words. The celebration culmins to a suspenseful climax in the final scene, a powerful performance by the band – and fundraising – of the Live Aid set, which has been called the greatest live rock performance of all time. . Swoops down from a frenetic shoot at Wembley Stadium (Haye recreated the stage of the now-defunct venue, to scale, at an airport) to an intimate on-stage exchange of musicians, out into the frenzied crowd and back again, Newton Thomas Sigel’s dynamic work is a high-voltage communicative language.

The rough edges of Freddie Mercury’s story can be smoothed out in this narrative, where indulgence and debauchery are sugar coated. Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? It’s a bit of both. However, caught in a flurry of offensive headlines, at a time when connection, curiosity and openness feel like endangered species, the scene’s lingering excitement That concert was amazing.

Production company: New Regency, GK Films
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Actors: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Story by: Anthony McCarten, Peter Morgan
Screenwriter: Anthony McCarten
Producer: Graham King, Jim Beach
Executive Producers: Arnon Milchan, Dennis O’Sullivan, Justin Haythe, Dexter Fletcher, Jane Rosenthal
Director of Photography: Newton Thomas Sigel
Production Designer: Aaron Haye
Costume Designer: Julian Day
Editor: John Ottman
Composer: John Ottman
Casting Director: Susie Figgis

Rated PG-13, 134 minutes

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