“Good thoughts, good words, good deeds”
If you’re a Queen fan, then just watch this film. Stop reading my review. Just stop, go and see it, enjoy. You’re gonna have a real good time.
Now, as a film fan I will look at this as a visual, moving narrative. And I know some of you will absolutely disagree with some of my points.
The story is more about Freddie than it is about Queen, no surprises there, but I didn’t really come out of the film knowing much more. This film is less a biopic and more an homage to Freddie’s legacy.
The film was so rushed, as if the director (Mr Bryan Singer) was rushing to get to the next music montage! We all know the songs, but I wanted to know the band! There were crucial key moments that were disappointingly fast tracked; when Freddie met Brian and Roger, an amusing little segment at the back of a van, then suddenly he was performing with them on stage as part of Smile. Then the album was made! And before we knew it they were touring America in a cheaply directed montage with cliche touring bus footage and the band shouting “We love you (name of city)” every so often!
But for me, the biggest crime was skipping out on the relationship of between the band members. If there were musical differences let’s see them, if there were personal differences, let’s see them. What we got were very brief moments of short bickering. One scene was very jarring and that was when the band were arguing about going disco. The actors got to stretch their skills a bit here, but as soon as it started Deacon randomly calms the room by playing the “Another one bites the dust” bassline. WTF?
“What do you want from me Freddie?”
Another big misstep is the heart of the film and that was Freddie’s relationship with Mary Austin. She was with him from the beginning. She was loving, kind and nurturing. But the film skipped through all of that and she only appeared, in any significance, when they discuss his sexuality.
Ultimately, this is a film for the fans. To hear their music, to worship their musical God. The “story” was merely a link to their songs. The central performances were great, but let’s not kid ourselves, the magic and sheer magnetism of Freddie cannot be matched.
One thing I did enjoy was casting Mike Myers as an EMI executing arguing about how the kids are not going to like Bohemian Rhapsody. (shwiiiinggg!!!)
As film I enjoyed it, but like Freddie it is a flawed masterpiece. There were moments which should have commanded more focus; Freddie’s relationship with his father, with the fallout of the band, with him coming to terms with AIDS and the loneliness he endured at the height of his fame.