Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic that celebrates the esteemed band Queen. The film covers how the band is formed and is highlighted by Freddie Mercury’s personal story. The film takes the audience on a journey to see how Freddie Mercury became the icon he is today.
The shining element in this film is Rami Malek. Malek spectacularly embodied Freddie Mercury and the persona that is loved by multiple generations. During interviews, Malek mentioned that he isn’t a method actor but found himself immersed when tackling Mercury. This was evident in his performance. Rami had the same magnetism that Freddie Mercury had on stage and you find yourself relating to the feelings and emotions that Freddie experiences throughout the stages of his life. Rami Malek’s performance is engrossing and any Oscar buzz around his performance is well deserved. Freddie’s bisexuality was addressed from the very beginning and Malek did a fine job expressing this element of Mercury’s life.
The performances in this film carry the emotional well. A particular performance that stood out to me was Lucy Boynton, played Mary Austin. Audiences will relate to her and the chemistry between both Malek and Boynton was felt greatly throughout the film. The personal battle that Freddie had with AIDs along with his struggle to love himself again was overwhelmingly heart wrenching and once again, Rami Malek’s performance was outstandingly spectacular.
The other band members Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor played by Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello and Ben Hardy respectively, also encapsulated their characters well. The dynamic between the band mates feels like you are present in the room with them. Most notably, the uncanny resemblance all the actors had to the original band mate added to its realism. In terms of directing, Dexter Fletcher did a solid job picking up the pieces after Bryan Singer. The film did not feel disjointed and the film’s pacing and directing felt fine despite what happened behind the scenes.
One side of the film that could have been improved on was deeper exploration of the characters and their motivations, in particular, the band members. At several moments in the movie, it felt as though the rest of the band were a trio on their own that met up with Freddie, rather than a four membered band. While there were strong character moments, when Brian May, played by Gwilym Lee, started the formation of We Will Rock You.
Unlike the innovative and daring song Bohemian Rhapsody, this film didn’t take many chances with the story. While enjoyable, the film played it safe in structure and approach. However, this didn’t take away any of the enjoyment that you get out of this film. The highlight of this film was the 1985 Live Aid performance. This was the film’s most powerful moment and will definitely be a crowd pleaser. The film lets you feel the importance and the grandeur of arguably the most famous live performances in musical history. It truly was mesmerizing to see this on screen with this cast.
Bohemian Rhapsody showed almost all of the 20 minutes of the Live Aid performance and audiences will be clinging onto every second of the performance. Certain lyrics in his performance resonate with you on a more profound level. The famous “AAAYYOOO” duet that Freddie performs with the audience grips you and I almost found myself wanting to sing it back with him.
Bohemian Rhapsody is something for all ages and generations. Whether the audience is familiar with Freddie Mercury’s story or just know a couple of songs, the film will captivate. Between singing along to the famous songs, laughing through the humor, or resonating with the emotions, Bohemian Rhapsody succeeds in taking the audience on a journey befitting the band.