Bohemian Rhapsody


The key to enjoying a movie like Bohemian Rhapsody is managing expectations.   Months out, L didn’t seem terribly excited about the prospects of attending opening night, so we agreed we were probably not going to be breaking out the *Instant Classic* tag for this one.  But we had a good attitude and low expectations when we parked ourselves in the front middle seats and let ourselves recline into the sounds of one of some of the greatest pop / rock hits that ever graced AM radio.

L was right to be afraid:  the movie was not good.   I would describe it as a big budget Lifetime Movie Network production shot amidst a writers’ strike.   The back stories are weak. The main story lines are generally trite.  The emotional payoffs are minimal.  This sad state of affairs should be expected given the tumultuous nature of the film’s development, and I’m guessing the politics of this movie’s development were more interesting than what the movie reveals about the history of the band.

Even so, there are a number of big pluses.  Firstly, Rami Malek and his prosthetic teeth make for a convincing Freddy Mercury.  Second and thirdly, what they didn’t spend on writing they seem to have saved for wardrobe and production values.  And, finally, Mike Myers is barely recognizable and mostly fun as the red-headed curmudgeon.  Adding that all up, L&D left in a reasonably upbeat mood.  If you like Queen’s big hits, it isn’t a complete waste of time.

One note of caution, however, the more I read about the development of this film vis a vis the fact vs. fiction angle, the worse it gets.   So I quit reading.  But, suffice it to say, if you are a stickler for Queen history, it’s probably best to stay away from this one.

So, while we are happy we saw it, I don’t think we’re quite generous enough to brandish the *Not Terrible* tag, either.   I’m guessing that when this one hits TBS I will fire up the Greatest Hits album instead and give “Under Pressure” its due.

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