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Rami Malek shines as Mercury, other aspects lack depth

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Rami Malek shines as Mercury, other aspects lack depth

Special To / The Advocate

Special To / The Advocate

Special To / The Advocate

By Gabriel Quiroz, News Editor

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The extravagant and eccentric rock star story has been told many times over the years and often protagonists go through the same struggles of sex, addiction and heartbreak.
As a film, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not entirely different from these stories, but it is not quite in that category.
Queen, musically or culturally, can’t be put in a category with anyone else.
The band changed what music could be and transcended genres with operatic sections and a unique singing style. Queen was a band that constantly challenged themselves.
Band front-man Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, is the driving force throughout the film. However, despite the title’s indication that the story is going to be about the band as a whole, there are not many in-depth stories about the other three band members of Queen.
The film is fast-paced, often not delving too much into detail when important moments arise. But it does just enough that viewers get the main point of what is going on.
Audience members journey through the formation and rise of the band past their first year into headlining an American tour.
Malek’s portrayal of Mercury captures scenes as his wit and ego flow through naturally, while his movements and on-stage antics capture Mercury’s vibe completely.
Malek is able to deliver a genuine and authentic performance of Mercury and his eccentric style.
However, one of Mercury’s love interests does not share this authenticity. Mary Austin, played by Lucy Boynton, lacks strong emotion in comparison to Malek and many of the other characters in the film.
She often seems to have the same facial expression, except for a few choice scenes when she confronts Mercury. Even then, it just shows how much she mailed-in her performance in other scenes.
Brian May, played by Gwilym Lee, Roger Taylor, acted by Ben Hard, and John Deacon as Joseph Mazzello together with Mercury formed the eccentric and uncompromisingly talented band Queen.
Mercury’s theft of screen-time leads to the film’s band members suddenly becoming married without notice and having kids with no indication of time or age — other than which album the band was working on.
Their arguments with Freddie also do not seem to be as impactful as they should have been because after multiple years of not speaking to each other, making up seemed simple for them.
Because of its PG-13 rating, the film does not go into much detail in scenes dealing with Mercury’s sexuality.
A quick glance at a men’s room door, a naked man on a couch and leather is as far as the movie dares go.
Paul Prenter, who portrays Allen Leech, another one of Freddie’s love interests, serves as a believable antagonist in the film and a character audience members love to hate.
The Prenter-Mercury relationship seems to appear out of nowhere with no indication of interest before their first kiss.
The two seem to merge into one during the film but there is no gradual interaction — it’s a sudden movement into a one-sided, destructive relationship.
Mercury’s family, however important in the beginning of the film, receives little screen time as the film progresses. The movie gives little explanation of their estrangement other than Mercury not following his family’s traditional values and becoming a rock star.
Malek’s portrayal of Mercury’s performance style is the film’s high point. He replicates movement after movement just like Mercury, offering chills to moviegoers as if they were at an actual Queen concert.
A first-time viewer with no previous knowledge of the band may be entranced by the film and its main protagonist.
However, after watching in greater detail, “Bohemian Rhapsody” leaves viewers wanting a more in-depth look at this huge band’s legacy.

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Rami Malek shines as Mercury, other aspects lack depth