DIRECTOR: bryan singer (the usual suspects, x-men, valkyrie)
STARRING: rami malek, lucy bolton, aidan gillen, and allen leech
REVIEWER: hadassah devis
A biographical film about the British rock band Queen, focusing on lead singer Freddie Mercury's life and leading up to Queen's Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
Following the meteoric rise of Queen, with (of course) particular focus on the iconic Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of the brand’s revolutionary sound and musical genius.
When the first pictures of Malek as Mercury were released, and then again with the release of the trailer, and quite simply being a film around Queen, my standards were set high. But as with any standards, the higher they are set the higher the chance of disappointment. Bohemian Rhapsody does not disappoint. It supersedes all expectation.
Rami Malek is Oscar worthy as the charismatic, flamboyant and ultra talented Freddie Mercury. He emulates all that we know Freddie Mercury, his musical genius, his stage presence, his quirky mannerisms, and even his battle with personal demons. It is this ability to convincingly portray Mercury at his highest highs, and lowest lows that speaks volumes to Malek’s talents as an actor.
Amazingly, Ben Hardy playing Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as lead guitarist Brian May, and Joe Mazzello bassist John Deacon all still manage to shine - mostly with humour, and badass rock skills - despite Malek’s Mercury stealing the show. Very apt considering it’s Queen.
There have been complaints from critics that Bohemian Rhapsody is not ‘gritty’ enough, and that there is not enough hard focus on Mercury’s sexuality and battle with aids. Both are prevalent throughout the film, but worked naturally into the story of Queen rather than using it to overshadow their achievements as a band. Put simply, I don’t think the intention is to highlight Mercury’s struggles or death, it’s all about how he lived, and what he lived for, and that was foremost music.
And that’s what Bohemian Rhapsody is. It’s a rock n roll concert, a story of four boys who loved and lived music, a tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time. Because it’s not just rock n roll, its Queen baby.
TIP: We recommend you watch Bohemian Rhapsody in the cinema. With the big screen, and seat shaking sound. During the LiveAid performance (and a couple of other places throughout the film) I had to say to myself over and over “Don’t sing” “Don’t get up and dance” because that what you’ll want to do.
Bohemian Rhapsody does not disappoint. It supersedes all expectation with an Oscar worthy performance from Rami Malek.