We can say that this biopic dedicated to Freddie Mercury, eccentric leader of the legendary rock group Queen, has come a long way. After having failed to transform into Arles many times, Bohemian Rhapsody finally took the stage for a concert that promised to be memorable, at the height of the man, Queen.
Before talking about the film Bohemian Rhapsody , it is advisable to experience a little flashback. Originally, Freddie Mercury was to be played by Sacha Baron Cohen, whose resemblance to the singer and natural scenic madness made the ideal candidate for the role. Despite the performance of Rami Malek (we will come back to this), we must admit that we will always regret not seeing what the ex-Borat would have given as a show. Following artistic conflicts – Baron Cohen wanting a less watered-down version – the headliner changed several times before Malek was hired.
Another big turnaround: the dismissal of Bryan Singer a few weeks before the end of filming because of his repeated absences and his disagreement with his main actor. He will be replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle), but remains credited as one and only director. When we told you that Bohemain Rhapsody had come a long way, we weren’t kidding!
Somebody to love
To come back to the feature film, this one is similar to a clean Wikipedia file: we follow Freddie, from his meeting with Brian May and Roger Taylor to the famous Live Aid concert in 1985. The rest will be history. as they say. In the end credits, we will remember the artist as a man with cracks and a compulsive need to be admired, loved.
The stake of Bohemian Rhapsody is to provoke the empathy of the spectator between two scenic flights. As a result, we will only stay on the surface of our abuses with alcohol and drugs, our homosexuality, our illness … Everything is more suggested, little shown, or at least we never really dwell on it. .
Embarrassing ? Yes and no. There is obviously a feeling of lack of depth of the subject, as if there is still a lot to say about Queen in general, about Freddie in particular. There is an absence of risk-taking on the part of a studio more eager to impress us than to paint us a complete portrait, dark side included, of the singer.
Don’t stop me now
Because the assumed goal of Bohemian Rhapsody is undoubtedly to brush the grain of any self-respecting Queen fan. And it is enough to hear the beginning of each mythical piece for ours (of hair) to stand up. Singer (or Fletcher?) Offers us a cut-throat edit by placing the right music at the right time with the right amount of contextualization. On stage, Queen are kings and we would give our shirt… no, our house (if we had one) for the chance to experience one of those moments live.
So thank you to the feature film which manages to transcribe this sensation during the concert sequences and we challenge anyone to refrain from tapping their feet and their hands during a We Will Rock You, even discreetly (truthfully, we saw some in the movie theater!). And what about this Live Aid concert, almost entirely reproduced on the screen as if to give us a glimpse of what we missed. Necessary ? No, at least in terms of length. Electrifying? Totally and we want more.
Finally, we must say a word about this dear Rami Malek. Admitted fault, half forgiven, we had the feeling that he repeated himself a little in his interpretations and it was difficult to see him the eccentricity of a Freddie Mercury. It was forgotten the immense actor that he is and his capacity to transform himself, to transcend himself. Because it is indeed a metamorphosis that is at stake here, as he embraces the evolution of his character. If one doubted his performance in the first few minutes, as the film progressed, it becomes almost impossible to tell the actor apart from the singer. A fascinating interpretation which should earn him a few nominations, if not rewards.