On October 1, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the first official American screening of Bohemian Rhapsody held for college students in Boston (Thank you Fox for this amazing opportunity). After the film there was a Q&A with members of the cast and the whole experience was extremely surreal, in part because of how amazing the movie was.
Before I say anything else I want to make something clear: I didn’t go into this movie expecting it to be the greatest movie of all time. I went in expecting a fun movie that celebrates one of the greatest bands to ever exist while also diving deeper in the complex life of Freddie Mercury, and in that vein of thought it delivered. Also everything I say is completely my opinion.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
The film stars Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Lucy Boynton, Allen Leech, Mike Myers, Aidan Gillen, and Tom Hollander, and was directed by Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher.
Everyone knows Queen, so if the acting had been off in this movie, it could have been insanely bad, but it’s the exact opposite in this movie. The acting was absolutely perfect! Rami Malek brought Freddie to life and all of the emotions that come along with that role. The movie hinges on this performance. The connection between the four guys was also extremely tangible and they really felt, not only like a band, but a true group of friends. The supporting cast also does an amazing job bringing the side characters of the story to life as they influence and manipulate the band’s path.
The film isn’t only perfectly acting, but it is also beautifully made. The way it is filmed makes you feel the rise and ups and downs of Freddie’s life and how it affects the band. (Not gonna lie a few of the times I cried were in part due to the cinematography.) There are also many moments during concert scenes where they film the same shots that were seen by millions of people, and they are nearly spot on.
One question people had was if this film would deal with Freddie’s sexuality and the answer is yes it does. It is a central part of the film that drives the story and plays a large part in what part of the story we see. However, not only does it deal with this aspect of Freddie’s life but the film also dives into his background and beginnings, painting an almost complete image of why Freddie was the way he was.
One thing the film managed to do insanely well was to be an actual biopic while also being a greatest hits movie. 90% of the songs you would expect to be there were there, but they also worked to move the story and show the progress of the band. The two blend together insanely well to create a compelling story that you can’t help but want to sing along to.
The way the story is told is very episodic, meaning you get certain parts of the story, but at the same time this is really the only way to tell it. If everything had been included the movie would have been about 9 hours long, and that’s just kind of crazy. But this, way you get the main points and emotional moments of the story that provide a sense that you know what’s going on without being overbearing.
The only slight complaint I had with the film was that you don’t always feel like you’re at a queen concert or actually in the room, but that’s to be expected. Recreating the feeling of being at a Queen concert would be nearly impossible, even watching youtube videos of the actual band performing I feel still doesn’t do them justice. I don’t think anything can ever really recreate that feeling, so this feeling doesn’t really hurt the film that much.
One other slight people is that the structure does follow that of a generic band biopic. But it manages to break free and become bigger and as the band finally finds its sound, so does the movie.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Overall the film is a fun and emotional biopic that explores the life of Freddie Mercury while also incorporating the greatest hits of one of the greatest rock bands to ever exist. If you are a fan of Queen you will absolutely love this film, and even if you aren’t you will at least find it enjoyable.
Overall Rating: 9.3/10