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Bohemian Rhapsody: A Killer Queen Movie?

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Bohemian Rhapsody: A Killer Queen Movie?

Adam Aleksic, Editor-in-Chief

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In its opening weekend, Bohemian Rhapsody, the new Queen biopic, shattered all expectations to net over $140 million globally, well above production costs of $50 million. This is not without reason; the movie splendidly achieved its purpose of washing us in a cascade of nostalgia and providing an absorbing drama.

Many critics lamented that half the movie is little more than watching lead actor Rami Malek and the rest of the cast lip-sync, but I would argue that much of the audience came with the expectations of seeing thunderous re-enactments of Queen’s greatest hits, and that’s exactly what we got. The movie did an excellent job of making us feel the songs- having the beat reverberate inside us, and that’s what made it this successful.

Malek, the critically acclaimed Mr. Robot star, did a fantastic job as Farrokh Bulsara, the Tanzanian immigrant who went on to become Freddie Mercury. Bulsara’s complex struggles with his bisexuality, AIDs, band  mates, and feelings of dissatisfaction, were all conveyed excellently through Malek’s acting. Several reviewers have began floating him as an Oscar contender, and he certainly seems deserving of that.

Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, and Gwilym Lee all did a superb job as band mates Roger Taylor, John Deacon, and Brian May, as well. Their interactions with Malek provided invaluable insights into the dynamics between the team members and how supportive they were of each other. Likewise, Lucy Boynton portraying the “love of [Mercury’s] life”, Mary Austin, provided a more personal perspective on the lead singer’s struggles. Aiden Gillen was a perfectly manipulative scoundrel as manager John Reid, too- the film had very good acting overall.

I was somewhat surprised that the film focused more on the struggles and decisions of the group after they had already achieved rock-star status, and not too much with the years leading up to that. There may have also been too much emphasis placed on the 1985 Live Aid concert, which took up a whole 20 minutes of screen time. The writing could be a bit prosaic at time, but achieved what it wanted to.

There were also some unexpected moments of humor, too, which were much-needed in dark or dry moments alike. The audience enjoyed a chuckle several times. With that, the tremendous thespians, awesome music, and the storytelling, Bohemian Rhapsody turned out to be quite a decent movie. Not something for the ages, but an all right way to spend a few hours. It’s worth checking out, to be sure.

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