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Todd Herman

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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ breaks many of the cliches you might expect

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is better than you think, and better than the reviews are indicating. I know this film is going to be a big hit despite the reviews, because it reminds you of how many hits and how interesting and wonderful and exciting the music of Queen was.

I give this film 3.5 out of four stars.

The entire film is well-written, it’s well-directed, and it’s brilliantly acted, featuring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. It breaks a lot of the cliches that you expect to see about a troubled rock star. It focuses not on drug addiction and not on self-destructive indulgence, but the difficulties and challenges that he had in his life.

With biographies about music stars, we usually see what a tragedy it was and how miserably it ended. That simply wasn’t true with Freddie Mercury. He died of AIDS at age 45, but to say that he destroyed himself in the way that Michael Jackson or Prince or other big stars did is not accurate.

One of the difficulties with the film, and one of the reasons I would give it 3.5 stars and not 4, is because Freddie Mercury is pretty much the only character that you meet in the film.

The other members of the band were these were all bright, educated people — one was an astrophysicist, and another was an electrical engineer. This is was not one of your rock bands with working class cred, as people often talk about.

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