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Review: Bohemian Rhapsody isn't real life, it's just enjoyable fantasy

PUBLISHED: 09:15 23 April 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody is screening in Diss. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody is screening in Diss. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Archant

After the much-publicised troubles that have beset this movie, it comes as a pleasant surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody is such a fun ride, with a roster of superb concert recreations, including Life Aid - where Queen gave what many consider the greatest rock performance of all time.

Bohemian Rhapsody is screening in Diss. Picture: 20th Century FoxBohemian Rhapsody is screening in Diss. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Steering clear of the darker side of Freddie Mercury's life, Rami Malek's Best Actor Oscar winning impersonation has been rightly applauded, but Gwilym Lee is just as good (and arguably more convincing) as Bryan May.

Along with Ben Hardy on drums as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello on bass as John Deacon, they charge through a potted history of Queen, taking pit stops along the way to blast out the hits.

Those seeking the grit of 'Slade in Flame' or David Essex's world-weary 'Stardust' need look elsewhere, but this camp, family-friendly romp is nevertheless hugely enjoyable.

It takes extraordinary liberties with the facts of the case, bowdlerises Mercury's greater extravagances, and teeters perilously close to self-parody, but to paraphrase the great man himself, this isn't real life; this is just fantasy.

More an affectionate obituary — May and Taylor were executive producers — than a steely eyed biography, its a film that justly celebrates a much loved, and much missed, man – so what if it's an escape from reality?

• Bohemian Rhapsody (12A) screens at Diss Corn Hall on April 24, 10.30am and 7.30pm, £5 (£2.25 under-18s), 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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