So I finally made it out to see Bohemian Rhapsody, which chronicles the rise of the rock band Queen from the group’s formation to their renowned Live Aid performance in 1985.
Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Review
My first reaction was… Why is Rami Malek’s face so squared and puffy looking?
Personally, I am a fan of historical pieces, specifically biopics. I don’t know what it is, but I think I prefer a story that has a little more truth to it. And although this movie is about the band Queen, the truth is there is no Queen without Freddie Mercury, also known asFarrokh “Freddie” Bulsara, born in Zanzibar of Parsi descent; his family came to England when he was in his late teens.
The early scenes of Bohemian Rhapsody, set in London in the infant years of the 1970s, show how young Farrokh worked that transformation, with a lot of attitude and a few tiny girls’ jackets from Britain’s legendary boutique Biba.
The young woman he meets and falls for, Mary Austin (played, with charm and vigor, by Lucy Boynton), works there, and she takes delight in dressing him up in velvet and sequins. From there Freddie shows off his vocal cords why enticing a local band to listen to him sing and to hear some of his songs. They are reluctant, but Freddie soon showcases his incredible talents, and all else is history.
The movie does a good job of showing the band grow, while also giving a glimpse into the creation process behind some of their songs. From there they go on to created some international hits then enjoy those successes with an international tour.
The climax – the band reunite after a long hiatus to perform at the Wembley for a worldwide audience of 1.5 billion people as part of a campaign to help victims of famine in Ethiopia – is well worth the price of the multiplex ticket. Rami Malek, wonderfully into the spirit of the man he portrays on screen, sings Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, and We Are The Champions in an astoundingly convincing recreation of one of the greatest live acts in rock history.
Eventually, the movie circles back to a climactic performance at Live Aid, the massive 1985 famine-relief benefit concert to which Queen was added late in the game. The set is reproduced nearly in full, with a lot of momentum and excitement (and perhaps too many cutaways to a massive computer-generated crowd).
Overall the movie is good if you can sit through the many gay inuendoes, which I’m not always a fan of. We get it, he was gay, but many of the scenes made me very uncomfortable. But if you don’t know the story behind Queen, this is a great way to learn it. Often I felt goosebumps in scenes where they were either creating or performing their incredible hits.
Director: Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joe Mazzello, Lucy Boynton, Mike Myers, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander;
Running time: 134 minutes;