director: Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher (Uncredited)
writer: Anthony McCarten (Screenplay & Story), Peter Morgan (Story)
starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton and Gwilym Lee
genre: Biopic | Drama | Music
released: 31 October 2018 (Germany), 1 November, 2018 (Australia & Greece), 2 November 2018 (USA)
When a film is too complicated and long we moan about it, when a film is too simple and short we see less value in it. Sometimes both can work for different reasons and in the case of this Queen biopic it maybe short, uncomplicated and at times historically inaccurate. However, despite all this, it is still enjoyable and with some of the best musical representations of a band on screen.
The film follows primarily Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) from his insistence not to follow his family’s way of life or expectations to become a professional rock artist. He gets the chance to do so by becoming the lead singer of a small band later to be known as Queen and they together enjoy some of the greatest musical hits across the years and throughout the world with some friction along the way.
It’s amazing it took so long for this biopic to get off the ground, with everyone knowing fully well the demand for it, but its also a testament to the production and the original members of the band Queen to getting the film made the right way and to the best of their abilities. Which should be stated again to their best of their abilities. As the film is a no frills biopic that doesn’t get bog down in intricacies, major subplots, converging threads or even cares about what the other Queen band members were doing with their lives. It did everything possible to get from point A to point B in the most entertaining fashion, with story beats to make audiences feel a part of the struggle of both Queen and Freddie, even though a lot of it was made up or not entirely accurate.
Now, this wasn’t knowledge to myself while watching the film and the film was watched without knowing many of the facts of the band and of their personal history. So without knowing much about them I still enjoyed the film and even after the fact of finding out about a lot of the inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies, as I wasn’t personally expecting otherwise from a studio production of around 2 hours and nor should you. It was evident that a studio biopic would have to cut corners and narrow down the story to suit audiences story expectations and tastes. As everybody likes a underdog story and one that has major breakup and sadness before reunification and glory. These story beats are almost always touched upon in musical biopics or even sports films for that matter. And its simply easier to work to these motifs as a filmmaker rather constructing something more original and true.
Therefore, having knowledge or not doesn’t really play a role in terms of enjoying the film and the obvious things that Queen did as a band and of their interactions with each other. Additionally, your not going to see this film for a history lesson or biographical enlightenment on their escapades, but to get a general feel of their chemistry, creativity and evolution. Which the film by and large manages to do with its great production value and incredible performances. Naturally, a standout is Rami Malak as Freddie Mercury and will be included on the ever-growing list of actors who transformed into their musician characters perfectly.
This film will make you feel electrified by its musical production and direction, with its finest moment by far being the recreation of the ‘Live Aid’ concert. An incredible moment captured on film, where you feel like you are a part of the experience and will enjoy every second of it. Besides that, if you can be mindful and or understanding of the inaccuracies then you are sure to enjoy the ride.