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  • Bohemian Rhapsody


Bohemian Rhapsody


It may have many failings, but a bland protagonist certainly isn’t one. Charting Freddie Mercury’s rise from gawky suburban teen to strutting rock superstar, it hinges on a larger-than-life performance by Rami Malek, who keeps things just the right side of flamboyant caricature. Unfortunately, the film itself is spirit-crushingly bland, lurching from one by-the-numbers scene to the next. Freddie’s thirst for fame is conveyed convincingly, but his sexuality and penchant for hedonism are handled extremely coyly – save for one suggestive leather bar-set montage, the film paints a picture of a semi-closeted sadsack, tormented by his own impure urges. A rousing final act recreation of Queen’s legendary Live Aid performance compensates for the tedium that precedes it, but it’s too little, too late. And the film really suffers in comparison to last month’s A Star is Born, which offers a more nuanced consideration of the pleasures and pitfalls of fame.

Bohemian Rhapsody | Directed by Bryan Singer (UK, US 2018) with Rami Malek. Starts October 31.

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