Tuesday, November 6, 2018
“Bohemian Rhapsody” the movie
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.