Remember how I said that the baby did terribly on the plane (and every other form of transportation), and so neither the Boy nor I had a chance to get much reading done? Well, the other thing I had been hoping to do on those long, long flights was to watch a movie or two. We are at the time of year, and distance from release dates where the films available on our flight all seemed to be ones that had been nominated or won Academy Awards recently. I was so excited – this was my big opportunity to see The Favourite! A Star is Born! How terrific. But we all know how well that turned out, and I didn’t really have a chance to watch much of anything.
I say “much of anything” because between holding the baby while she napped, and having an hour+ stretch of time at one point, I did manage to watch one film over the course of the two long flights totaling 26 hours of flight time (and when I say over the course of two flights I mean I watched the first half during the first flight, and the second half during the second flight – that’s how bad little B was!). That film was the one I was most excited about, Bohemian Rhapsody, and that’s because I’m a really big Queen fan. I love their music, it just brings me great joy. I have a distinct memory of watching a documentary about Freddie Mercury (which one? I’m not sure!) after I moved into one of my old apartments in Maryland, and it having just randomly been on the channel, and not being able to turn it off. So I knew the movie was one I needed to see.
Not only that, but it had won a slew of Oscars in both technical (sound and film editing), and then a big one in the form of Best Actor for Rami Malek. As someone who pays (or paid) attention to the goings on in Hollywood, and the rumors about new movies, I had heard the initial discussion about the development of this movie years ago back when Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to star. But that fell through, and there was no news for a while, and then I got excited when I heard that Malek was attached to star because he is so good in Mr. Robot (which I don’t think I’ve ever talked about as a show that we watch, but we do). And then there was all the drama surrounding director Bryan Singer and his erratic behavior and then not showing up to the production. So when the movie finally premiered, and it turned out to be pretty good, it was a big deal and a relief.
I will say that the movie does follow a fairly formulaic plot – band forms, they struggle for a little while and strive to form their own identity, once they begin to succeed there is in-fighting and striving, before ultimate reconciliation and ultimate success during the Live Aid performance (ranked as one of, if not the greatest rock performance of all time). But the music is so good, and the performances are delightful. Not only is Rami Malek good, but the rest of the guys who appear as the members of Queen are pretty terrific too. You root for them all to do well, and to resolve their personal issues. You watch Malek’s Freddie Mercury and hope that things won’t be as bad as you can tell that they’re going to become, and then they are.
It seems that there are quite a few inaccuracies with the details of the film regarding who went solo when, and how the group felt about it. About the forming of the band, and when they knew what regarding Freddie’s illness. But ultimately, those aren’t huge things, and they didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the movie. If you enjoy the music of Queen at all, I imagine it wouldn’t take away from your enjoyment either, and if you are even just a fan of musical biopics, this is a fun one. The final sequence at Live Aid is a thing to behold, and is probably the main reason the movie won so many technical awards. It’s the kind of movie you will come away from happier for having watched it, and you’ll probably have a few songs stuck in your head.