Bohemian Rhapsody: A Preview. column by Avery Meyer
Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic film from director Bryan Singer, and written by Anthony McCarten that comes out November first. It’s a film about the famous English rock band “Queen”, and its lead singer, Freddie Mercury.
This film will cover the story of the band and Freddie Mercury over the course of 15 years from its inception, to Freddie pursuing a solo career, to their last performance at Wembley Stadium.
This is a movie that has been talked about by 20th Century Fox since 2011 and many had high hopes. The film’s director, Bryan Singer, has done many of the X-Men films and directed several episodes of House. Singer is a very interesting director because he often makes such weird and bold choices.
As the director of many of the X-men comic book movies he had made some pretty bizarre choices as director, such as setting the opening scene of X-men in Auschwitz. It was borderline tasteless and it didn’t settle well with some, but it just was such a controversial scene and direction take place was interesting.Based on his previous movies, much of his work is at the least creative but unfocused and at best unique and entertaining.
He’s an interesting director to say the least, maybe to an overzealous extent because he was fired for reportedly clashing with the cast and crew. The film was then given to Dexter Fletcher to finish, he will however be uncredited. So I think it's safe to assume that Bohemian Rhapsody is ultimately a Bryan Singer project, which could mean that it will be another solid biopic, or it will be an unbridled mess with no clear direction, with just scenes strung together.
The writer of this film is Anthony McCarten who also wrote several other biopics such as the “Darkest Hour” and “The Theory of Everything”. Both of which are critically acclaimed films that really capture the person(s) and times that they want to portray. I do hope that this movie will be able to capture the impact and style that the band “Queen” had, however there may be cause for concern.
Many reports have come in about this film skimming out on details that may portray the subject in question in a bad light. The movie “Straight Outta Compton”, a similar biopic, did this as well. The film has been accused of taking out parts of Freddie’s life like his relationship with an adult film star, and also not really portraying his promiscuity and bisexuality.
People are also concerned that the movie could be a mess from the changing in writers and actors. Originally Sacha Baron Cohen was going to play Freddie, later replaced by Rami Malek. I think this was a good choice because Cohen, while funny in his various comedies, I don't think people would be able to distinguish his Freddie Mercury character from his others.
Freddie Mercury was a very interesting person, just outside of his music. His uniqueness as a person all around and there is so much that you can draw from if your a director or writer. Freddie had that mark of greatness that every incredibly talented person has, and this film doesn't seem to want to show it, at the very least, hide it.
While I expect Rami Malek's performance to be stellar, I don't think it will save this film from the multiple problems plaguing it. I think this movie will run into the problem of mediocrity and lackluster. There is so much that one could do in a film about such a colorful character as Freddie Mercury, but this film seems to be suffering from just doing by the numbers biopic.