Bohemian Rhapsody

Rated 3.0

The career of Queen front man Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) provides the framework for a standard musical biopic with all the conventions in place—the ambition, the parental disapproval, the struggle to find a “sound,” the success that goes to the hero’s head, the breakup, the reconciliation—all culminating in Queen’s landmark performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Only Mercury’s sexuality varies, a pattern that goes back 70-plus years. Back then it would have been half an hour shorter, and this one could have been. (Maybe the firing of director Brian Singer, to be replaced by Dexter Fletcher without credit, led to a lack of focus in the editing room.) Still, the music is electrifying, and Malek is a stellar presence, as is Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Mercury’s lover-turned-platonic-best-friend.