cinema cinema:english

As The Swivel Chair Spins : Bohemian Rhapsody

Lazing on a sunday afternoon feat. a headache

My decision to watch bio-pic after another is the cause and the effect is a splitting headache.

First there was NTR (which I have written about), next there was Manikarnika (which I don’t think I will write about), followed it by streaming Sanju (which I will surely write about, yes it is drafted) and now Bohemian Rhapsody. Each movie has in their own way added to this headache.

Is this the real life?

(insert either Bryan Singer or Dexter Fletcher here)’s bio pic of Freddie Mercury by way of bio-pic of the music band Queen (whose song “We Will Rock You” has been played at all student driven school cultural events in Chennai) is quite a mess.

Like all student-driven ‘cultural’ events, Bohemian Rhapsody too is without guidance but tries to make it up with enthusiasm; an orphaned director chair is just one of the problems, a familiar screenplay constitutes the rest.

Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury; a youth with a buck-tooth who feels that he represents the fringe-the outsiders and naturally wants to make music for them. Opportunity happens and he teams up with a dentist-drummer Roger Taylor, astrophysicist Brian May and one more guy to form Queen.

The makers of the movie however did not realize that during the phase of life often referred to as youth, most of the people undergoing this phase feel they are the fringe.

Testimony to this misunderstanding is that (in the movie and in real life) Queen actually becomes a mainstream band which attracts millions of followers, some of whom carried the tradition of playing “we will rock you” in cultural events to this seaside city of boredom aka Chennai and that is how I got to know of the song. (oh I did mention it before, becoming aged person you see)

I’m perfectly fine, when movie-makers force fit the reasons for making the bio-pic but I am pained when these reasons change during the course of the movie. It doesn’t really help if these are just put by way of flat dialogue.

I’m perfectly fine, if history is distorted to tell a good story, because I understand that real lives (even of the popular) are boring while adapting for film and needs drama addition.

I also understand a bio-pic is not a history lesson or an authorized biography, but these flights away from reality in Bohemian Rhapsody do not make it an exciting watch especially when everything is nicely tied towards the end. Quite boring, yes.

Their Finest Hour

But the last six song set at Live Aid 1985, that the movie was building towards all along compensate.
Malek and co recreate every step of the band. A concert experience within a movie and I want more of that!

Nothing Really Matters To Me

Yes, also the shocking thing is that this movie has been nominated for a whole lot of awards and sure to secure the best actor for Malek at the Academy. The movie also became the highest grossing musical bio-pic of all time. Did you read that with a straight face, because I did while writing.

In a way comforting to realize that ineptitude too is rewarded in the world.


For another story of a poor bucktoothed song writing boy who feels that he is unloved, do catch STR’s Vallavan.

For a better scene of lovers playing ON and OFF with bedroom lights watch K Balachander’s Ek Duje Ke Liye

Lady Gaga who happens to take her stage name from the Queen song Radio Ga Ga (also my favourite song, sorry we will rock you boys) is in the running for best actress for a Star is Born. Ah a co-incidence!