Review: Queen’s Biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody"

I consider myself an old soul. I love to collect records and listen to old music. So when the first trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen biopic, came out, I was more than thrilled to stomp my feet to the beat at the movie theatre. And that’s exactly what I did! Earlier I had the pleasure of watching the film and I would say that the movie was everything I expected it to be and also what I didn’t expect it to be. For me, it was so much more! Before seeing the movie, many critics had already cashed in their reviews about the film, the majority of them being negative. Critics were concerned that the film makes a shallow dive into Freddie Mercury’s life, especially when it came to his sexual orientation and relationships with men. Nonetheless, I found the film to be enjoyable and testament to Queen's legacy. 

Let’s first start with the lead actor who plays Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek. Let me say right off the bat that his performance was one that was Oscar-worthy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he generates some Oscar buzz for the months to come. His performance was stellar, magnificently capturing the embodiment that is Freddie Mercury. From his sassy, charismatic persona, to his flamboyant choices in fashion, to the way his actions were so similar to Mercury, everything about his performance was spot on. Added with makeup and fake teeth to resemble Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek played the part wonderfully. 

The movie itself perfectly displayed the tension between the bandmates and the trials and tribulations of Freddie Mercury during his hard depression and addiction phase. The cinematography perfectly captured Mercury’s slow downhill spun out of control. As well it also portrayed the way in which music was produced in a different way. Bohemian showed the production of their famous album “A Night at the Opera,” which includes songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Love of my Life.” During the movie, Queen shows how they married opera and rock to make a six-minute song. They wouldn’t even play the song on the radio because it was too long of a song. From swinging an amp around with a microphone to get the perfect sound wave, to putting coins on a pair of drums to get the right sound for the record, Queen shares with its audience just how far a band is willing to go to.

What was really my favourite part of the whole movie was the lead up to the Wembley Stadium Live Aid Concert, that Queen entered in last minute but stole the show. The Live Aid Concert was a charity-run event that raised money for relief of the Ethiopian famine. From the way it was filmed to the performance Rami Malek executed, everything was brought together to form one epic concert. Knowing at this point in the film that Freddie had AIDS made the performance’s significance even more emotional for me. The emphasis that it needed to be done in order to not have any regrets before he died was something I believe that everyone can relate to. Freddie had done it for the fans as well, giving them a show they would never forget. This is evident in the way that the fans have complete respect for the star. You can see the emotion behind Freddie’s eyes as he sings to the crowd, almost becoming one with them. After I had watched the movie, I went back and looked at the actual footage of the concert and everything was spot on which made the whole experience even better. What also surprised me was the number of fans at the concert and Queen’s impact on boosts in donations after performing. This just goes to show how amazing of a band Queen was and how they’ve touched the lives of so many.

All I can say is whether you are a rock or Queen fan or you aren’t at all, I believe that everyone should take the time and watch Bohemian Rhapsody. For me, I sincerely believe that in order to appreciate the music of today, we have to appreciate the originals, our roots. We have to appreciate where are now favourite artists get their inspirations from. This music is what made history in the 20th century, and Bohemian Rhapsody, the song itself, is still making history in being the anthem for many people. Let Queen Rock You and go see this movie.