3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Top marks for casting, but lacks the depth you might expect.

Bohemian Rhapsody covers the beginnings of the band Queen up until and including their performance at Live Aid in 1985. Considering Freddie Mercury’s tragic illness and having to deal with his sexuality in the public eye, it could have been quite a moving piece of work. But for such emotional subject matter, it fails to evoke much of an emotional response. I was more touched by Queen’s music within the film rather than anything played out on screen. As far as enjoyability goes, the music makes a huge difference.

Rather than weak acting, I suspect the script is at fault here. There have been accusations that a lot has been fabricated, and that rings true. Some moments really do feel a bit fake and one-dimensional, like ‘this is what ought to have happened’ rather than what actually happened. That isn’t to say it’s boring, just less than what it could have been.

Hats off to the casting and costume department for getting the band members spot-on. Even though Rami Malek may not look identical to Freddie Mercury, he does have some resemblance and his performance most certainly fills in the gaps. It would be a bit of an ask for him to sing the songs as well, though. The songs are comprised of actual recordings of Freddie Mercury, as well as Canadian soundalike Marc Martel (singer in drummer Roger Taylor’s tribute act, The Queen Extravaganza). Game of Thrones fans will notice their manager John Reid is played by Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger).

Bohemian Rhapsody premieres in Sweden on October 31.

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