Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” did the fandango last night (and in Thursday previews) at the box office. The Movie That Has No Director But a Great Lead Performance takes number 1 this morning with a huge opening of $18.4 million.
Tomorrow’s headline will be They Are the Champions: a $46 million weekend is possible. And this despite the New York Times’s A.O. Scott sounding actually bitter in his takedown review (off the wall–wow). Nevertheless, “BR” has maintained a 60 on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s in the win column.
What’s not to like, audiences are saying? I agree. Rami Malek and the whole cast are so good, the rest of it doesn’t matter. We learn as much as we need to know about Freddie’s birth in Zanzibar. No one needs an origins story about Farrokh Bulsara. The reason the movie is a hit is that it’s got the Music, the Performances, the Outrageousness.
My only quibble: no “Under Pressure” with David Bowie. The backstory is that before Queen, Freddie sold Bowie shoes in Kensington Market. Then a few years later, they teamed up for “Under Pressure.” Producer Dennis O’Sullivan told me it was in the original script, but it didn’t fit in the movie. There’s just a hint of the fingersnaps.
BTW the lip synching is excellent. But Rami does sing in the movie, and he plays the piano. So for the naysayers, zip it. I really feel that the bitterness has a lot to do with Bryan Singer and his associated scandals. Get over it.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a hit.