Being a millennial my parents introduced me to 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music. I remember my father’s vast record collections, looking at the beautiful, colourful album covers was a very fond memory from my childhood. I especially remember Queen and being in awe of their sound ever since the first time I listened to the eccentric Freddie Mercury’s voice. If you feel this way about Queen, or are an occasional listener, I highly recommend you see Bohemian Rhapsody, the latest cinematic biopic of the famous band.

It stars Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as Freddie Mercury and follows the 15-year rise, fall, then eventual rising again of the band Queen and Mercury himself. It begins with Mercury meeting his fellow band members, Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon, to falling in love with Mary Austin, the infamous lover of Mercury. To them performing at Live Aid, the global charity concert that raised money to fight hunger for those in Ethiopia.

The initial attraction of this film for me was how perfectly Malek played Mercury. From the way he looked from behind as he is walking upto the stage, to the way that he glanced out to the crowd in his outlandish fashion whilst performing at Live Aid, there are so many uncanny, comparable moments, which was amazing to see. He encapsulates his charisma so well that I can most definitely see why there is Oscar buzz for the star. He receives able support from Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, and Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, all of which have their share of dark moments but are outshined by the more memorable, humorous ones. I feel as though the film doesn’t really get to the core of the band’s relationship and what truly made them ‘tick,’ but it makes an effort to show their comradary and prompts the audience to believe that they definitely did care about each other a great deal.

Although grand in production, a noteworthy cast and as much as it was a pleasure to watch, if I was to critique one thing and one thing only, was that I struggled to get over the fact that by the end of the film I still didn’t feel like I learnt anything new about Freddie Mercury, I didn’t find that the film got to the core of who he really was. Perhaps that was because no one knew? But I felt like the parts of Freddie Mercury that made him one of the greatest rock legends of all time, were not grappled with as much as I expected them to be. His queerness and flamboyancy are perceived as his downfall and not parts of him that made him great.

But, in saying that, if you love Queen’s songs you will be delighted to know that there are a lot of Queens biggest hits in this film which is a real treat to the ears. At the screening I was at I heard shoes and fingers tapping against patrons chairs, as well as people even singing along to the songs. I found this to be a really magical screening to be in, almost as if everyone walked out lighter. If a film can have that much of a positive impact on people, then I believe that they have done something right. This film won me over and I hope it will do the same for you, do yourself a favour and watch it.

Score: 4/5

  • Comments Off on Bohemian Rhapsody Review