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‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and Why Even Flawed Biopics Kind of Rule

Hear new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, which breaks down the high and low points of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie

Rami Malek as rock icon Freddie Mercury in the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox/New Regency film BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.

Rami Malek channels Freddie Mercury and recreates Queen's legendary Live Aid performance in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' final scene.

Nick Delaney/FOX

A lot of movie critics didn’t love the new Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, aside from Rami Malek’s eerily accurate Freddie Mercury – just as many ’70s music critics never warmed to Queen. But it didn’t matter: Bohemian Rhapsody had a huge opening weekend, overcoming a rocky production process that included the studio’s replacement of the director, Bryan Singer, after he reportedly stopped showing up for work. (He said he needed to take care of an elderly parent and that the studio refused to delay production.)

On the new episode of our podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, Brittany Spanos, David Fear and Andy Greene join host Brian Hiatt to discuss the movie — and why even flawed, campy biopics can be essential viewing. To hear the episode, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

The episode explores some of the best and silliest moments of Bohemian Rhapsody, as well as its many factual lapses. We didn’t need to see Brian May painstakingly explaining the stomps and claps of “We Will Rock You,” and the movie’s scenes of decadence are weirdly tame (or not so weirdly, when you consider the PG-13 rating). On the other hand, the recreation of Mercury commanding a stadium crowd at Live Aid is downright moving, even if the portrayal of the band breaking up for two years beforehand is entirely made up.

Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify, and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.

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