The early reviews of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody have started to pour in and most of them suggest that while Rami Malek gives a memorable performance as the lead Queen singer, the movie does not leave much of an impact. Reviews suggest that the film is a run-of-the-mill biopic that could have been about any musical band.
IGN’s Jim Vejvoda writes, “Bohemian Rhapsody is fun but entirely superficial, playing it safe rather than trying to be as bold or brazen as its larger-than-life subject. It ultimately relies on the magnetism of Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury and Queen’s bombastic, beloved music to make up for its narrative shortcomings and by-the-numbers direction.”
USA Today’s Brian Truitt says in the headline of his review, “Rami Malek rocks as Freddie Mercury, but ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ isn’t a killer Queen biopic”. He further writes, “As it turns out, “Bohemian Rhapsody” the song is a sonic masterpiece and “Bohemian Rhapsody” the movie is just a conventional rock flick, one all too ordinary for a man and a band that exemplified the extraordinary.”
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich begins his review with the headline, “A Spirited Rami Malek Can’t Save Bryan Singer’s Royally Embarrassing Queen Biopic”. He further writes, “It’s insulting to see the lengths to which this film tries to capture the melodrama of Queen’s music, and humiliating to see the lengths by which it fails.” He also talks about the feeling of inauthenticity that the film carries, “More often than not, the film makes you feel like you’re watching a group of talented actors cos-play Queen’s Wikipedia page, all of them fudging the facts whenever they get too close to making these rock legends seem like real people. Or — worse — fudging the facts in order to make these rock legends seem like real people.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Sheri Linden is a little kinder and writes, “The rough edges of Freddie Mercury’s story might be smoothed over in this telling, the indulgences and debauchery sugarcoated. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? It’s a little bit of both. But, caught in a landslide of dispiriting headlines, at a moment when connection, curiosity and openheartedness feel like endangered species, the lingering exhilaration of that concert scene is pretty darn magnifico.”
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman says, “It treats Freddie’s personal life — his sexual-romantic identity, his loneliness, his reckless adventures in gay leather clubs — with kid-gloves reticence, so that even if the film isn’t telling major lies, you don’t feel you’re fully touching the real story either.”
Bohemian Rhapsody releases on November 2.
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