Los Angeles Times

'Bohemian Rhapsody' glosses over Freddie Mercury's roots and religion — just like he did

In an early scene of "Bohemian Rhapsody," we see Freddie Mercury celebrating his birthday. Rami Malek, who portrays the late Queen frontman, sits at his parents' dining-room table as his then-serious girlfriend hears Freddie's birth name for the first time. And his bandmates are informed that their lead singer was not, in fact, born and raised right there in London.

His parents' brief and bullet-pointed corrections are nearly drowned out by Mercury, who suddenly begins serenading himself on piano and informs everyone of his new last name. His announcement seems to puzzle and insult his father, who asks, "So now the family name is not good enough for you?"

Mercury's roots and religious background are two of the many (many) topics that the musical drama, which arrived in wide release on Friday, tackles at what Times film critic Justin Chang calls a "multitasking" speed. And yet the biopic still leaves audiences

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