It’s difficult to bring up this film without thinking of the behind the scenes drama tied to it. The allegations brought forward against director Bryan Singer eventually cost the director his job on the project. However, having completed a majority of the work, his name remains attached as director of the film. The film has faced some criticism due to that, such as being removed from the LGBTQ awards and most likely losing any chance of winning Best Film at this year’s Oscars.
With all that said, the purpose of this article is to simply review the film itself. So with all that out of the way, let us continue…
Bohemian Rhapsody opens with a young Farrokh Bulsara and his attempts to be noticed as a performer. When a local rock band touring colleges loses their lead singer, Bulsara gives a successful parking lot audition that lands him the lead gig. From there, he and the band click and decide to take things to the next level. Thus, the band Queen is formed and Bulsara changes his name to the one he would be remembered as for the rest of his life: Freddie Mercury.
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The film chronicles the highs and lows of the band as they skyrocket to the top of the charts. As the band revolutionizes the music industry, Mercury becomes engulfed in the megastar spotlight, surrounding himself with fame, fortune, drugs, alcohol, and sex. Eventually, Mercury listens to the wrong people and breaks apart from the band, making his attempt at what furs out to be a less creative solo run that produces more obstacles than successes. As the film inches near it’s finale, and the shadow of what would be the biggest concert in history looms in the distance, Mercury and Queen decide to mend fences, revive their excellence together and make beautiful noise for one more run. A run that would allow Mercury one more stretch of masterful performances with his brothers before his time was up.
There is no denying the time and effort Rami Malek put in to becoming Mercury. Every tick, look and movement is perfected. Right down to his accent and large teeth, Malek embodies one of the greatest performers in music history effortlessly. In both the characters musical highs and his ultimate low in discovering he has AIDS, Malek handles each moment in Mercury’s life beautifully. Joined by Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello, the charisma between the four flows easily, from dialogue to song rehearsals to their epic climactic performance at Live Aid. Along with Lucy Boynton playing the closest person in Mercury’s personal life, Bohemian Rhapsody is a music-filled, character-driven vehicle that not only entertains but will have you humming the entire Queen catalog for days after your initial viewing.
This is Bohemian Rhapsody.
P.S. There’s a well-placed, tongue-in-cheek line that pays homage to Wayne’s World and its memorable head-banging moment, which is delivered by the aforementioned film’s star. Keep an eye out for it.