Bohemian Rhapsody | Chicago Reader

Bohemian Rhapsody

There’s a scene in Bohemian Rhapsody the movie where the screen fills with negative reviews of “Bohemian Rhapsody” the song, with the phrase “perfectly adequate” sticking out. This conventional rock biopic by director Bryan Singer is just that. Aside from some exciting music sequences and a fantastic performance by Rami Malek, who almost perfectly channels the magnetic flamboyance of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, the film never quite delivers. Perhaps it’s because the filmmakers try to show us everything that happened in Queen’s beginnings leading up to its epic 1985 Live Aid set, they didn’t delve into some of the scenes that deserved more nuance, like Mercury’s conflicted relationship with his immigrant past or his identity as a gay man (though contrary to early criticisms, the movie doesn't erase this part of him or omit his AIDS diagnosis). The film ends on a musical high, accurately capturing the essence of the band’s energy but, despite Malek's best efforts, fails to capture the elusiveness of Freddie Mercury.



  • Bryan Singer


  • Rami Malek
  • Lucy Boynton
  • Gwilym Lee
  • Ben Hardy
  • Joseph Mazzello
  • Aidan Gillen
  • Tom Hollander
  • Allen Leech
  • Mike Myers
  • Aaron McCusker
  • Dermot Murphy


  • Anthony McCarten
  • Christopher Wilkinson
  • Justin Haythe
  • Peter Morgan
  • Stephen J. Rivele


  • Graham King
  • Jim Beach
  • Arnon Milchan
  • Denis O'Sullivan
  • Justin Haythe
  • Dexter Fletcher
  • Jane Rosenthal
  • Brian May
  • Roger Taylor

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