Bohemian Rhapsody: A Love Letter to Queen

This article was originally published on November 4, 2018 on Cinephile's former website.

 Firstly I'd like to say it felt really good to be back in the theater yesterday.  I've missed the sanctuary of film immensely and was embraced with open arms upon my return.  Since I had the opportunity to go to the movies I decided to enjoy a double feature, the first on my list, Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, 2015).

I have to admit I was not a Queen fan growing up.  My household was a soundtrack of lots of gospel, soul and r&b.  However, in viewing this film I realized that I am very familiar with a lot of their music due to it being ingrained into the fabric of our American pop culture.  Another take away from this film was that I had no clue that Queen was a British rock band.

Bohemian Rhapsody felt like a love letter to Queen as well as it's lead singer Freddie Mercury.  I watched the film in IMAX and it enhanced the experience of listening to the fantastic music and feeling submerged into the world of the rock-n-roll.  

Rather than a biopic this film felt more like a concert and I, the anxious spectator, knew nothing more about the people on stage other than appreciating their performance.  The acting was fantastic and for the most part the film was good, but I can't help to feel like something was missing.  Like what drove Mr. Mercury's creativity?  Who was he as a person?  I spent the whole film with him and I don't know who he is besides someone who could sing and perform.  It seemed as if Rami Malek approached playing the character as a person who was plagued with many demons, but the story never divulges into the inner fight.

At the beginning of the movie, there's a brief moment in passing of a slight altercation with Freddie's father, but we are not sure to where the conflict stems from.  At the end of the film when Freddie shares a hug with his father, there wasn't much emotion evoked from what I can only guess was supposed to be a touching scene.  In my opinion this film would've excelled if the creatives showed character motivation and internal struggles on screen.

3/5 Slates

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