Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody ★★

A conflict avoidant, squeaky clean karaoke sesh. But look, karaoke can be plenty entertaining when done well, and this film is sometimes entertaining (yes, in the way that The Voice is entertaining, so it is what it is), but if I’d not seen it in a theatre with good sound, and a clappy/laughy packed holiday crowd, I would have probably tuned out. Rami Malek’s turn is driven and sometimes very fun to watch. He is a total star in this movie. But he’s only as dimensional as the film allows. This is all to say nothing of the fact that I don’t buy for half a second that this is how any of these events went down, which isn’t a good or bad thing in a fundamental sense, but if you’re going to tell the tall tale, why not have some fun and make it singular or at least specific? But hey, that’s not the point here it seems... it’s a hit, and I understand why. An obscenely palatable, forgettably unchallenging, all-too-familiar-feeling HIT, with a remarkable performance and songs we already love. It does exactly what we (they, someone, not me I guess) want it to do. As Mike Myers’ character says, “People like formulas...” I wonder what the SBC version would have been. A more interesting story/lens I bet, but hard to imagine him transcending himself as Malek is able to do.