Mr. Robot's Rami Malek is Freddie Mercury in this celebratory biopic of Queen. Penned by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), from the director of X-Men.... More
Bohemian Rhapsody's long gestation, since 2010, has seen the departure of Sacha Baron Cohen as Mercury (later called an "arse" by Queen guitarist Brian May) and director Bryan Singer from part of the shoot due to health concerns.Hide
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BY Adam Fresco Flicks Writer
Freddie Mercury’s amazing voice and showmanship lifted Brit band Queen above pretentious pomp-rock, as with Rami Malek’s bravura central performance here as the larger-than-life lead singer with operatic aspirations, a defiantly sexual persona with rock god egomania turned way up to eleven.... More
Framed by Queen’s triumphant 1985 Live Aid set, cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel lends proceedings a spectacular, widescreen aesthetic (especially during concert scenes). Bryan Singer (reinstated on the credits as director) and Kiwi screenwriter Anthony McCarten shy away from outrageously exaggerated operatic highs and tragic lows in favour of a glittery rags-to-riches tale, following Farrokh Bulsara (born of Parsi descent on Zanzibar) from London airport baggage-handler through to changing his name, and finding fame as Freddie Mercury.
Lucy Boynton, as love of Freddie’s life Mary Austin, allows for a boy-meets-girl, boy-discovers-he’s-gay friendship arc, and there’s a glorious cameo (and deft Wayne’s World nod) by Mike Myers as a cynical EMI executive. That Queen guitarist Brian May (played by Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and manager Jim “Miami” Beach (Tom Hollander) are producers probably accounts for a script attempting to focus on Freddie whilst repeatedly mentioning the rest of the band’s contributions, with just enough creative process and ugly reality to lend it an authentic feel.
The band struggle, argue, Freddie parties to excess, and whilst his homosexuality, drug abuse, and HIV aren’t ignored, the timeline is rejigged in service of a linear narrative and neatly upbeat resolution. But this isn’t a documentary, rather reality reimagined as a highly entertaining, bombastic fairy tale. Bold, brash and so brim-full full of songs as to sometimes feel like a greatest hits video interspersed with dramatic scenes, like the band it’s a rockin’ good ride powered by a stand-out lead performance.Hide
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BY Mike-Patterson superstar
First half is epic! Then it drags a bit but the finish is good. Lacks a bit of explaining what is happening and no clear timeline so unless you know the story and history well you may get a bit lost here and there. Music of course is what saves this movie.
BY Barny lister
The concert scenes - be it a small corner pub or Madison Square Gardens were electric. As a casual fan I couldn't tell where the creative liberties took over but the story rolled along at an enjoyable pace, a couple of corny parts here and there but easily forgiven as it was a fun ride. Yeah, I teared up near the end. The likeness of the all the characters and players of the day was pretty damn bang on for my money. I'm still bugged I gave SOLO such a high rating.
BY JackWallace superstar
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