“Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?”
These lyrics could be attributed to Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. He does do a rather fantastic job, but the film makers seem to be holding so much more back that he could use (basically, they are telling him “we won’t let you go”).
Malek is easily the best thing about the film. I feel the negatives of the film (and there are a more than a few) may actually hold him back from an Oscar nomination (though I could see him getting a nod for a Golden Globe). We meet Freddie Mercury in a flashback just before he and his band are to go perform at the live aid tour in 1985. Years before, we see how he met his band members Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), as well as his wife Mary (Lucy Boynton). Those who have any idea about the late singer knows he hid his homosexuality as much as possible, as well as his diagnosis of AIDS until the day before he died.
If the movie were to be split into three parts, I would say the weakest by far is the second. I knew little of Mercury going in, but did discover he was someone who totally lived life to the full. The movie seems to only scratch the surface, with only Malek seeming to want to dig deeper. If I could ask director Bryan Singer a question, it would be why they did not go with an R rating. My only guess so far is that they may want younger people who don’t know the band Queen to discover them (which I totally would think they should). Still, it does rob the movie of much authenticity.
Parents, I mentioned the movie is PG-13. There is no nudity, but a lot of partying and kissing. I would say High School and up (or at the least, very mature middle schooler).
I will admit to not recognizing Mike Myers in the role of Ray Foster, the person who said the title song would not be anything kids would want to bang their heads to in the car (cough, cough, Wayne’s World). Also, when you hear the performers that will be at the live aid concert (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Elton John, to name a few), it makes it even more hard to believe that people would only be calling in to donate when Queen is playing. My personal qualm with the film is they barely make a mention of the song “Under Pressure”, which is my personal favorite (along with the title song).
Oh well. Anyway the wind blows.
Overall: Three Stars ***