'Bohemian Rhapsody' - Movie Review

This movie shares even more in common than I initially thought with the movie I watched last night, "Rocketman." Some things are really obvious: they're both musical biopics about flamboyant gay front-men. Less immediately obvious (although I should have realized it) are that they share a very similar time period: the peak of both Elton John's and Queen's fame was through the Seventies and into the early Eighties. Unsurprisingly, both movies are about men trying to deal with their sexuality at a time when being gay wasn't commonly accepted (Elton lived long enough to marry his partner, sadly Freddie didn't live long enough to see today's broader acceptance). Not particularly obvious at all, both movies were directed by Dexter Fletcher (this movie is on the books as being done by Bryan Singer, but he was replaced part way through by Fletcher), and both have people playing John Reid. Aiden Gillen plays him in this movie, getting a smaller and more boring part than Richard Madden's portrayal of Reid as a backstabbing heartless bastard in "Rocketman" ... in this movie, he's just a manager.

The film suffers for being a standard-issue biopic, but the part that sank it for me was Rami Malek and THE TEETH. I totally get that Freddie Mercury had large teeth and a wicked overbite, but I doubt that Freddie Mercury looked deeply uncomfortable with his own teeth and kept trying to rearrange his own face to fit them. He may not have loved his teeth, but he was used to them. Rami Malek wasn't used to them, and it really shows.

I enjoyed the music, and thought they did a good job of presenting the band dynamic ... while simultaneously making Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon almost bit players in their own story. Mercury was undoubtedly the most important person in Queen, but the three of them deserved not just good portrayals (which they got) but at least a bit more screen time.