Rhapsody (noun) rhap·so·dy | \ ˈrap-sə-dē: An epic poem
Who’s your neighbor exactly? Is it your own bliss? Bzzzttt, WRONG. It’s not the box office hit that the Oscars chose to love. The Academy of Motion Pictures made some crucial nominations, which concluded that the honored recognition above all else must land on… Bohemian Rhapsody. Not that it automatically presses the attempted “love your neighbor” message you may read in some green book of poems. The academy wants to celebrate love, yet they don’t know what love even means. Bohemian Rhapsody preaches just the opposite: it wants you to walk out of the sky-painted wall after saying to all who was there for you:
“Good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”
As much as it celebrates the works of Freddie Mercury, it really just educates you on three things: his materialism, his lack of sympathy, and the lack of sympathy he got from others! You get a glimpse of him singing: “Happy birthday to me.“
Meanwhile, his parents are ‘round the dining room table to reminisce through little Freddie’s old childhood photos. The next thing that happens is really quite grim, Mr. Bulsara changes his last name legally, then he leaves his mom and dad and joins a band of three misfits! Now, these band members try their best to always stay together, but as coins clatter on a drum and the colors they wear clash, nobody of any age will watch this with a moral eye.
This two-plus hour special from eighties-MTV has far too much love for its big, dramatic montages. It shows the bad reviews projected when the band’s tune premiered, an artistic decision doesn’t aid the film’s tension. As Freddie’s fame takes off and his colleagues are dumbed down, his passive girlfriend, Mary, gets the worst of it—She’s BLANK. She’s BLAND. She’s got no IDENTITY. This film tries to crank Freddie’s stress all the way up to eleven, yet it can’t even decide what it really wants to say. Say what? All about the me-di-a! Why, when Freddie’s being interviewed by cameras and clipboards, some bulbous closeups stress his face but can’t tell you his motive. Are the ones behind the cameras crucial to a man’s success? Detrimental? Both? Does it even matter? The film’s mere existence is 100 percent superfluous, which you’ll feel once a pompus live performance overstays its welcome.
At least director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) humanizes Queen’s fans as much as he can. The finale crowd of Live Aid waves their beige arms in the air like a sea of muddy water from the bowls of Freddie’s cats. To go a little deeper, Mercury’s mere introduction is solid ‘nuff to prep the way for Rami Malek’s (The Master, Mr. Robot) pride. With the focus on his moustache trimmer, that before/after comparison intrigues you to see Freddie Mercury’s predicament; especially when he first meets Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. At first, they each despise him because his teeth stick out of his face. Although it doesn’t matter, ‘cuz his teeth actually look great!
Some more crowd-pleasing moments include this one simple shot: a sound/editing transition when a rooster crows… GALILEO!!!!! It happens right before a scene of recording that one line… over… and over… and over… and over… It’s a very funny scene that will give a good laugh, and for the viewers who grew up with Queen, they’ll love to see this: The origin of Freddie’s trademark microphone stance after failing to unhook his mike at an early concert. Plus, a “Somebody to love” montage about some concert prep makes a sink drain turn into an actual satellite.
Yet these elements designed to win over you are just not worth the hassle because the details are breezed over. Screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) tells us no motivation behind any song lyrics, unless by the dictionary. The lack of helpful info goes to the band as well, as they seldom act like true brothers, nor do other countries. Just look at the stingy Americans in this picture: they believe the song will bomb and won’t give it a chance.
NOBODY, and NOTHING, in this film is as important to these filmmakers as letting Freddie Mercury brag about being able to play the piano upside down. As a result, the fame he won was lost when he died. To obtain a freedom comparable to this disgraceful man, know that a neighbor is actually whomever you allow in your life, not your own pompous celebration, party of one. If Fred Rogers was alive today and saw what won Best Motion Picture (Drama) in 2019, he would cry.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Bohemian Rhapsody. 20th Century Fox. Web. <https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/bohemian-rhapsody>.
“BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018).” History vs. Hollywood. CTF Media. Web. <http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/bohemian-rhapsody/>.
Greene, Andy. “Fact-Checking the Queen Biopic, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.” Rolling Stone. Penske Business Media, 1 Nov 2018. Web. <https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/freddie-mercury-queen-biopic-bohemian-rhapsody-movie-fact-check-746195/>.
Holland, Patrick. “Bohemian Rhapsody movie review: A killer Queen biopic indeed.” Digital image. CNET. CBS Interactive Inc., 6 Jan 2019. Web. <https://www.cnet.com/news/bohemian-rhapsody-golden-globe-winner-review-a-killer-queen-biopic-indeed/>.
“rhapsody.” Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. Web. <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhapsody>.