Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
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Seriously? Zero character development. Zero emotional weight. Did Brian May actually endorse that this is how a band works or songs are written? Corny, lazy, and filled with every cliched biopic trope. Felt more like a VH-1 movie with slicker production. Did any viewers actually learn anything new about Queen? Blows my mind this film has positive reviews, let alone is considered by The Academy one of the best films of the year. If you like the performance at the end, just watch the actual Live Aid or Live in Montreal performances.
I'm not saying it affects the film's quality, but if Mercury had been a, to put it lightly, viable creative consultant on the film, I don't know if we'd have so many "I'm [insert Queen member]. I contributed things to Queen that are fondly remembered, too!" scenes.
I mean, gosh, I know nobody's perfect and Freddie was likely no angel, but he's a damn cartoon character here. May and Taylor had the gall to create one of those stupid "rise-to-stardom movie" scenes where the one who's the most famous gets spoiled and runs off on their own, deserting the poor other guys. I wasn't there, but I guaran-fucking-tee that Brian May and Roger Taylor aren't the innocent sons of bitches they are in this movie.
I know this probably doesn't bug others as much as it did me, but for Freddie's bandmates to get behind this fictionalization of his life is appalling. How would you feel if, years after your death, your old friends/colleagues decided to influence a movie version of your life that millions will see in such a way that you come off seeming like an insecure, self-centered bitch? It's just human nature, and I really should not be angry, but I'm fucking angry. Fuck this boring, cookie-cutter movie. Fuck turning actual people's lives into popcorn-selling trash. I understand everyone who dislikes this comment, because I'm being a royal wanker and a baby, but I don't care. I got out of the theatre thinking it was humourously amoral, but reading about what actually happened and thinking about the implications of this sort of thing just burns me. Mercury was a real goddamn dude. You can't do this to a human being! I'd be rolling in my -- I suppose Mercury was cremated, but if I were he my ashes would be FUCKING ROLLING!
It's not a terrible movie, but it's just not worth it. Maybe I really am being a baby and this is how Mercury would've wanted it. Who the hell am I to get angry? It was his life, not mine. I guess there's no use crying over spilled milk. Bohemian Rhapsody is a cliched clusterfuck of a biopic with the worst editing of any mainstream film I've seen in a while. Nonetheless, I have to give serious credit to DP Newton Thomas Sigel. He gave this film a distinguished look, and seems to have had a great time figuring out how to create shots within shots in Freddie's sunglasses. Props to that guy.
Edit: the more I really think about it, the clearer it becomes that May and Taylor's input likely related more to their own roles in the story. I have no way of knowing what their notes were, or how much they really contributed, but if they approved this shit I'm still a little miffed with them. Regardless, that "Brian May comes up with the 'stomp, stomp, clap' of We Will Rock You" scene was hilarious.
I'll endorse what my neighbor Marty said about Bohemian Rhapsody - slather Queen music all over something, and it's going to be enjoyable no matter what (also looking at you, Highlander!). Like most biopics, it is a thing of parts. Historically relevant moments strung together to form some kind of movie-acceptable narrative. Some you like, some you don't care for, and only the very best bring out a cohesive central theme that makes it, for lack of a better term, literary. There are hints of it here, but they are self-defeating. Mainly, part of the film is about creating one's own identity vs. "passing off", as Freddie rejects his heritage and struggles to pass as white and straight. Is he wrong to do so? Because that's not the film's only concern, it's hard to say, especially given how time is collapsed, ignoring true events to better package the band's story as a movie. Is the legend over history approach part of the overall theme, then? While not very surprising on a plot level as a result, there's still a lot of entertaining razzmatazz on show, with lots of fun visual transitions (the film looks generally gorgeous), plenty of humor to balance the drama, and of course, that music. It's kind of ballsy to reproduce a large chunk of Queen's Live Aid set (I checked, they got the number of Pepsi glasses right), though again, it's a great scene regardless of what comes before and after, taken on its own. And the same is true of the Wayne's World bit with Mike Meyers. Is this a shocking, gritty tell-all? No. Is it a glossy set of tracks filled with energy, comedy and tragedy like one of their albums? Well... yeah!
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #15 in IMDb's Music Top 50
This movie ranks #31 in IMDb's Biography Top 50
This movie ranks #43 in IMDb's 2010s Top 50
This movie ranks #58 in All-Time Worldwide Box office
This movie ranks #149 in Golden Globe Best Picture Winners
This movie ranks #552 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees