Movie Review: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Isn’t a Champion. ‘Suspiria’ Remake Surprises

Movie+Review%3A+%27Bohemian+Rhapsody%27+Isn%27t+a+Champion.+%27Suspiria%27+Remake+Surprises

Bohemian Rhapsody 

To say Bohemian Rhapsody had a troubled production is an understatement. The film was supposed to be released in 2014 with talented comedian Sascha Baron Coen playing Freddie Mercury. However, in 2o13, he left due to creative differences with the remaining band members. According to an article from Deadline, “the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gay gifted singer”. Years later on the Howard Stern show, Cohen talked more in-depth about his exit. He stated one of the band members wanted Mercury’s death to be halfway through the movie, and see the repercussions on the rest of the band. After Cohen exited, Mr. Robot star Rami Malek entered the picture as Mercury with Bryan Singer directing. The trouble didn’t end, however, after 2oth Century Fox fired Singer halfway through production because of inconsistent attendance and issues with Malek.

The cast and crew really would be the champions if they could create a good Queen biopic despite all these issues, but Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t a champion. It actually really average.

The film mostly focuses on Freddie Mercury; the film spends all of 5 minutes explaining his backstory and family life. Then it easily moves on to Mercury meeting the other members of Queen and 15 minutes later the band was on the top of the charts. The film is as informative and accurate as a Wikipedia article. Bohemian Rhapsody hastily rushes through every cliche of the rock and roll biopic. When the film isn’t focused on the band, it poorly portrays Freddie Mercury’s private life. The film doesn’t “straightwash” Mercury as many feared would happen, but the film still feels afraid to portray Mercury’s homelife accurately. The cliches bog down the already overlong 2 hour 2o minute runtime. While the first two acts are a slog, Bohemian Rhapsody goes out with a bang.

The last twenty minutes are a recreation of Queen’s iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985 and it is fantastic. The cast and crew perfectly recreate the fantastic performance. Malek is terrific as Mercury, nailing the singer’s eccentric and flamboyant stage personality.

The concert sequences are great and Malek gives 110%, but those great aspects can’t excuse the cliche-riddled script.

⭐️⭐️1/2/5

Suspiria 

Suspiria (2o18) is a remake of a 1977 horror film from famous Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. The story follows a talented American dancer who attends a prestigious German dance academy that happens to be run by a coven of witches. Despite having the same title and same basic concept, the two movies are very different. The original film ran for 90 minutes while the remake runs for 150. Having never seen the original, this story was all new to me, and I kinda loved it.

Director of the acclaimed 2017 film Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino helms the 2018 remake, and his direction is pristine. The swirling camera movements and zooms create a retro feel for the period piece. The intentionally muted colors accompany the bleak reality that the characters inhabit. Color is almost nonexistent, until the insanely satisfying 3rd act that uses red better than any movie from memory. The visuals create a constant sense of tension in the viewer that peaks during the disturbing dance sequences. Suspiria made classical dance scarier than any masked murderer or monster; the gruesome visuals and unsettling score (Perfectly composed by Thom Yorke) that accompany the dance scenes disturbed me to my core. Actress Dakota Johnson proves how capable she is when given good material to work with, and Tilda Swinton is terrific in 3 different roles.

Suspiria is not an easy watch. It runs for 2 and a half hours and is a slow burn and lacks color for much of the runtime. However, this movie got a reaction out of me; it sent shivers down my spine and got under my skin. I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. It is a difficult film to watch and many will be turned off by the slow pace and disturbing visuals, but it is something to behold. Check out the trailer, and if it looks like something you’ll enjoy, give it a shot. You might just love it. I know I did.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2/5