Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

One week ago I had the pleasure of witnessing movie magic history. The biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, depicting the rise to fame of the epic British rock band Queen, celebrates their music and the life of their legendary lead vocalist Freddie Mercury. The film was directed by Bryan Singer and produced by Robert De Niro, Graham King, Jim Beach (who also happened to be the band's former lawyer and manger), as well as Singer. It stars Rami Malek from Mr. Robot as Freddie Mercury, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor, Joesph Mazzello as bass player John Deacon, Gwilym Lee as guitarist Brian May, as well as Mike Myers and Lucy Boynton. For any Queen fan this masterpiece was long overdue.  

The portrayals in the film by the cast were to the point. It was like stepping into a time machine and going back to 1970s London. Gwilym Lee was on point with Brain May's long curly mane and Ben Hardy donned the brunette hair before rocking the classic long blonde drummer locks giving me George Hurley vibes along with the classic rock star style. Joesph Mazzello really pulled of an early John Deacon at the beginning of the film with the long rock star hair and style but as the film progressed he switched over to the shorter hair and sweater vests becoming the nerd every rock band needs in terms of fashion. Finally, we have Rami Malek, who will most certainly be nominated for a Best Actor award for his exciting portrayal of Mercury; the hair, the clothes, the movements, the posture and the performances were all perfection. Anyone who is a fan of Freddie Mercury knows that he was a top notch entertainer and Malek definitely emulated Mercury's grand persona which would shape the other characters throughout the film. 

The film begins with Freddie about to take the stage for the Live Aid concert and then flashes back to a young, then, Farrokh Bulsara lugging luggage from an airplane pausing to admire an elaborate red one, something that he could never possibly have with his current lifestyle we learn of his background, coming from Parsi decent and a humble home, his father not approving of his lifestyle and determination to pursue music as a career. We then see Brian May and Roger Taylor playing at a bar as members of the band Smile, who Freddie is a fan of, after their gig Smile's lead singer quits and Brian and Roger are now left without a front man Freddie comes into the scene telling them he is a fan and also taking his chance to advertise his songwriting skills, both Brian and Roger seem uninterested telling Freddie that he just missed their lead singer. Freddie then builds the courage to tell them that they will need a new singer and offers himself up, yet Roger and Brian seem to not think much of him pushing him way and commenting on his 'unflattering' overbite Freddie then goes into song, singing a song by Smile and suddenly he has caught the attention of both Roger and Brian joining with him, and this was the beginning of Queen. 

As Queen begins to pursue ultimate rock greatness we see a new member come in John Deacon, their bass player. Now they are officially ready to embark on their journey. The begin to record an album to pitch to a potential record label, luckily enough they stand out to one, EMI Group Limited, and a team is formed. Freddie becomes more persistent with his vision for the band and the boys are willing to experiment and throw in their own ideas. They eventually hit the road on an American tour where they gain more widespread recognition. Malek and the rest of the cast bring out their best as they recreate epic performances.  As the film progresses we begin to see issues arise in Freddie's relationship as he reveals his sexuality to his partner Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton). The film highlights the dark influences that Freddie falls under which leads to a division in the band, Freddie becomes more careless and the boys more eager to do what they think is best for the band.

Eventually the band parts ways with Freddie pursuing his solo career and the boys left in limbo, their relationship seemingly unfixable. After trying to get a solo album that meets his standards, Freddie eventually gives up realizing that Queen is his only destiny. He goes home and tries to make amends with the rest of the band, all who are discouraged to get back together due to the past, yet the come to a deal, a compromise in a sense, and manage to get a spot in the Live Aid charity concert line up. Queen now back together begin to prepare for the show, Freddie's voice giving in to years of performances and the recent months of rest, prompt the other band mates to tell Freddie to take his time where he then tells them that he may not have any time and reveals to them that he has AIDs. This a somber moment in film showing that despite the problems of the past they were able to come together and do what they do best for a good cause. 

The Live Aid concert was the climax of the film, bringing to life the greatest rock performance of all time. Malek gave life to a Freddie Mercury who was full of energy and determination to continue making music while he still had time. Watching Malek break into a capella, Lee perform that great guitar solo from 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Hardy playing the beat for 'We Will Rock You', and Mazzello strum that bass on stage as Queen was breath taking. It felt as if I was their among the audience in Wembley singing along to their greatest hits. 

Bohemian Rhapsody was a visual and auditory experience getting to witness the making of the most famous songs in music history. Rami Malek was magnetic as Freddie Mercury and the cast brought to life a band that is familiar to everyone who invests in pop culture. It is the musical experience you will not want to miss!