Tuesday, November 6, 2018

“Bohemian Rhapsody” the movie

Despite the reviews, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not a bad film. What it is, is a safe film.

This biography of the band Queen and its lead singer Freddy Mercury is slick and well crafted with a lot of the group’s hits, one outstanding performance by Rami Malek as Freddy Mercury, and a faithful recreation of the band’s set at the 1985 Live Aid concert (although anyone interested can see the real thing on YouTube).

It is a pleasant evening’s viewing. And that is too bad. It seems the producers sanded off any rough edges on a film that could have been edgy and terrific.

Making movies about celebrities is a risk, and it is especially risky when there is so much original footage about a person or group. Watching actors (and Malek really is very good) portray extraordinary people, just reminds viewers of how talented and charismatic the original subjects were.

After watching “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I made a short list of rock films about actual rock bands and came up with a few I thought were well done. See if you agree.

“Control” about Ian Curtis of the band Joy Division;

“Love & Mercy” about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys;

“Backbeat” about the Beatles’ early days playing in Hamburg;

“Purple Rain” this may be cheating, but it is a good film with Prince playing Prince;

And my all time favorite, “A Hard Day’s Night,” with the Beatles played by the Beatles.


  1. I was never a massive fan of Queen or Freddie Mercury, so not one I'll be bothering with. I don't think I've seen any of your picks at the bottom of your post. I did like Spike Island which is about fans of the Stone Roses, than the band themselves.

  2. SPIKE ISLAND is new to me, Col. I'll have to look for it.