Bohemian Rhapsody — 4 Gavels 59% Rotten Tomatoes 94% Audience

July 13, 1985, knowing he was dying of AIDS, Freddie Mercury and Queen put on a concert for the ages at LiveAid.   We are fortunate to see a terrific version at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody. Those twenty minutes alone are worth the price of admission.  Knowing little about Queen, I am a blank slate entering the theater.  Unlike the judgmental critics, I have no preconceived ideas.  The beginning is a little choppy, but like the music of Queen, it takes off.  I give it 4 Gavels, and while it receives a 59% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the Audience rating is 94%.

Plot

What do you get when you mix a dentist, an electrical engineer, and a physicist with a flamboyant entertainer?  What do you call a band that refuses the record label’s demand for more of the same?  What band demands that its audience be part of the performance?  Queen!

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Actors

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury is mercurial.  Even the critics who care little for the film think he gives an Oscar-worthy performance.  Lucy Boynton plays his girlfriend Mary, the only person who understands him.  Mike Myers has a small part as an EMI executive who doesn’t get him.  Aiden Gillen from the Game of Thrones is Queen’s manager.

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Final Thoughts

Originally projected to make less than $30 million this weekend, that is now upped to nearly $40 million.  I expect word of mouth to be strong.  The audience remained for the “credits” music in the showing I attended.  Is it revisionist history?  I don’t know, and in this case, I don’t care.  We go to a concert to see a performer.  Freddie Mercury understood that; so does Rami Malek.  Consider me entertained.

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