After a long and very troubled production, the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody finally hit theaters earlier this month. While far from a terrible movie, the general consensus seemed to be that it was basically alright, with critics agreeing that it did its job of telling the story of Queen but didn’t really give us much in the way of inspiring sequences other than the concluding Live Aid concert.
One big worry ahead of release was that Bohemian Rhapsody would skate over Mercury’s sexuality, filing the edges off the star’s famous decadence in the hope of securing a PG-13 and not turning away more conservative audience members. That more or less turned out to be the case, but if you ask Queen guitarist Brian May, Mercury himself wouldn’t have minded that. When asked if he thinks the singer would’ve enjoyed the movie, May had the following to say:
I think he would have felt it was a fair cop. It shows all his greatness and all his fallibility and insecurity — the whole bit. I think it shows him very truthfully and not sycophantically, but in a way that appreciates his talent. Because he was sure was unique. I’ve never met anybody like Freddie in my life, before or since, and it’s probably not going to happen again.
For all of the potential it had, Bohemian Rhapsody did ultimately fall a bit short, and we don’t totally agree with May when he says that it did justice to Freddie’s story. That being said, there was still a lot to like about it. And thanks to Rami Malek’s tour de force performance, the pic emerged relatively unscathed and is seemingly leaving most viewers pleased. Not to mention that a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes is far from the worst thing in the world.
Still, you can’t deny that there’s a better story just waiting to be told here and it’d be great if someone could one day make a movie that was bold or smart enough to really understand what made the iconic musician tick. Unfortunately, enjoyable it may be, Bohemian Rhapsody is not that movie.