Verdict: An electrifying visualization of an enigmatic musical icon’s life.
Biopics are the flavor of the season and Bohemian Rhapsody is the newest addition to the list of movies about legendary icons we wish we could have met in real life. Not only does the film give us a glimpse into the world of Freddie Mercury but also explores the making of Queen – one of the best groups in the history of music. You can call it a musical of sorts with Queen’s iconic songs playing throughout the film. But what Bohemian Rhapsody really is a celebration of being different while making a difference.
What’s Bohemian Rhapsody About:
The film wastes no time in initiating us into Freddie Mercury’s life before Queen and how he came to be a part of the band. Keeping the cinematic liberties aside, the story goes something like this. Guitarist Brian May (played by Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (played by Ben Hardy) were a part of a small band that Freddie (Rami Malek) joins when their lead singer quits. Soon after, he is in a relationship with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) who joins him on tours. On the professional side, John Deacon (played by Joseph Mazzello) joins the band and they continue playing gigs that catch the attention of EMI Records for their unique musical style. After a series of albums, Queen becomes one of the most popular bands in the UK and Freddie Mercury becomes a legend but struggles with his fame. The movie ends with the performance at Live Aid, which is Queen’s most celebrated performance in history.
There were several reservations about the decision to pick Rami Malek to play Freddie Mercury. But as soon as the first posters and the trailers of the film were out, all doubts were cast aside as the Mr. Robot actor seemed perfect for the part. The movie goes on to justify the decision with Rami Malek delivering one of the best performances of his career. Being Freddie Mercury is not easy – it requires an actor to completely let go of his inhibitions and feel fabulous in his own skin. Rami Malek embodies this enigmatic spirit of the musical legend and is every bit as legendary himself. He is the highlight of the film and his efforts to look the part are surely commendable. Every other actor has small parts to play in the film and do a decent job of it. If Rami Malek hogs your attention here, it is only because he is playing the role of a man who was a scene-stealer.
As we mentioned before, the movie takes some creative liberties as all biopics do but this does not hamper the overall experience of enjoying the film. The best parts are in the second half where we get to see more performances by the band and also the creation of its popular songs. There is some drama to enjoy here with Freddie Mercury facing the dark side of stardom and the revelation of his sexuality causing him to make bad decisions. By the end of the film, we are witness to a thoroughly breathtaking performance by the band at Live Aid, during which it is hard to remember that this is only the film starring Rami Malek and not the actual performance itself.
What Could’ve Been Better:
While some factual inaccuracies could be ignored, the first half of the film seems to jump from event to event without really putting its heart into it. It is only in the second half that the film starts to create that emotional connection and what follows is an electrifying celebration of Queen like it should be.
Why You Should Watch:
If you are a fan of Queen, there’s no reason your ticket should not be booked yet. Even if you haven’t heard this band before, this is a great way to be introduced to their music and their legendary lead singer, who hailed from India but made his mark globally. Bohemian Rhapsody is a complete entertainment package that can be enjoyed by all!