By Colin Froment & Casey DiBari – Co-Editor-in-Chief & Opinion Editor
As one of the most popular rock bands of all time, Queen was bound to get a documentary highlighting their formation and success. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” released Nov. 2, focuses on Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) joining Queen as their new lead singer during the band’s rough beginnings, their gradual increase in popularity all the way to their final “Live Aid” charity performance. Even though the title directly references one of their time- less hits, the film doesn’t exactly feel like the Queen movie fans deserved.
It seems like the rest of Queen was benched on the side while Mercury’s story steals the spotlight. While Mercury does have an interesting tale to share that is accompanied by a fantastic performance from Malek, it feels like there could have been a little more time spent on the other band members. Drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy)and lead guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) have their own unique personalities and skills that were only briefly touched upon on screen.
For a film marketed with a complete focus on Queen, it would have been nice to see the other band members demonstrate their own qualities. That could have made the on-screen chemistry of all the band members even more exciting. Despite the script constantly mentioning how Queen was a family, the movie made it come off as though the other three members and Freddie didn’t have much of a relationship.
The pacing of the movie also added to the issues with the film. The movie raced through Queen’s beginnings and skipped right to their successes, leaving the audience lost in the timeline of the film.
It was thrilling to hear the band perform some of their most well-known songs, from the first studio recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the final performance of “We are the Champions.” It was exhilarating every time the music was blasting and engaging to see Malek recreate the energy Mercury always displayed on stage.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” contains enough head-banging moments and displays strong performances but some flaws prevent it from being a true “killer queen.” It succeeds as a musical documentary surrounding the difficult life of Mercury, with Malek’s performance bringing Mercury’s charm to screen. But as a full Queen biopic, it’s “another one that bites the dust.”