I finally caught “Bohemian Rhapsody” last night, and it’s one of the best executed rock biopics ever produced, in my opinion.
Without two key elements executed perfectly in this film (as with any music biopic), the movie just falls apart.
- When you see the musicians playing onstage, they have to look like they’re actually playing AND that they know what they’re doing.
- Whomever was going to play Freddie – and Sacha Baron Cohen was originally signed, but dropped out – they had to be able to absolutely *be* Freddie on stage.
Mission accomplished by Rami Malek, who is extraordianry as Freddie..
The most remarkable thing is that, unlike most rock biopics where famous performances are simply approximated, Queen’s legendary Live Aid performance is *literally* recreated…shot for shot, movement for movement, right down to where the cameramen were standing and what they were wearing!
The risk there is that the players just seem like robots recreating the thing, but Malek and the rest of the cast crush it in every way possible.
There’s even a moment at the beginning of this video where Malek as Mercury first sits down at the piano, plays a few notes, then adjusts a knob on a little box in front of him on the piano. Most movies would cut a little gesture like that…not this one. The moment here where he blows a kiss at the camera (to his mom watching at home) is depicted in the movie, too (and is at 1:29 in this video).
Freddie is considered by many to be the greatest rock frontman ever, and this performance is considered to be the greatest single performance ever by a rock frontman. It’s depicted in the movie exactly, and here’s the original…