RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2018
MPAA RATING: PG-13 (for thematic elements, suggestive material, drug content, and language)
I had my doubts about “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the film that explores the life and career of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), front man of the rock band, Queen. And while the film disappoints in places, Malek’s tour de force performance is anything but disappointing. His range, from larger than life on-stage musical gyrations to the subtleties of interpersonal relationships, is clearly conveyed by the actor.
The film, with its title coming from one of Queen’s anthems (one that is depicted as nearly not being released) is bookended by the historic and legendary 1985 Live Aid concert. The closing concert scenes certainly standout among others in the film, which has received some criticism for containing some factual errors, including muddled timelines of certain occurrences.
Efforts to produce this film were also met with problems. Sacha Baron Cohen was originally set to portray Mercury at a time when another director had been attached to the project. Subsequently, Bryan Singer was hired and Malek was cast in the lead, but the controversial director parted ways with the production due to what some have claimed was tension on the set while others refer to creative differences as the cause. Singer is still the credited director of the film, which was completed by Dexter Fletcher.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is not a film that all will enjoy, but it is worth seeing for Malek’s performance and for the reenactment of some of Queen’s greatest hits, including “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” and, of course, the title song.