Movie Monday: Bohemian Rhapsody is An Oscar Winner

In 1970 a group of misfits came together as the famous English rock-band we know as Queen. The band was formed by guitarists Brian May and John Deacon, drummer Roger Taylor and the legendary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Over 40 years later, the story of how they came to be is presented on the big screen as a musical biopic named Bohemian Rhapsody, their most significant track.

It begins with Farrokh Bulsara, played by Rami Malek, living in England 1970s. When his favorite band loses their lead singer, he impresses the bandmates with his voice and their success grows from there. Bulsara made a lot of changes, selling the tour van for a record deal, convinces them to change the name to Queen and his own name to: Freddie Mercury. When the band lands a manager and touring begins the lead singer also begins to discover his sexuality.

In the film, Mercury expresses to Mary Austin (fiancé and best friend) that he is bisexual. The media often does not do a good job representing the LGBTQ+ community, portraying their stories as tragic instead of happy to finally be who they really are. And sadly, the film lacked focus on the gay icon’s private life, it someway gives out stereotypes instead of giving us a fascinating, complex look at a real gay man. The movie reduced his queer identity to a series of random sexual encounters, consistently framing it as shameful and corrupting. Freddie Mercury is a highly celebrated bisexual celebrity, he started a movement that still helps the LGBTQ+ community. His sexuality should have been better portrayed in the movie, his relationship with Jim Hutton is barely seen and his coming out was never even mentioned just assumed.

Rami Malek is nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. He deserves this award because he embodies Mercury’s colorful and undisputable star excellence. Malek did his studying on Mercury and performing in a way that it was not just imitating Mercury, but completely capturing his spirit.

Although the best parts of “Bohemian Rhapsody” are rested in Malek’s performance, the scenes that present the union between the characters are great. My favorite is the scene is when they are recording the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the fast-pace takes of Mercury demanding to retake the lines until they are perfect like he pictured it inside his head.

It ends with the band at Live Aid (1985), a rock concert to raise money for famine relief in Africa. “Queen”, with three days to rehearse, gave the performance of a lifetime like the true champions they were. With the audience of 70,000 and an estimated 1.5 billion viewers around the world stomping and singing along. Before the credits appear, we see a short epilogue of what happened after, that Freddie Mercury passed away of pneumonia due to AIDS. The timeline of the film was altered, some fiction was added, it is hollywood after all. The movie makers chose to make Live Aid the center of the film.

There is a big chance that this film might win Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing, since even if the movie wasn’t a visual masterpiece, the musical aspect of the film was incredibly well done. Even though Queen never won a Grammy for the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Freddie Mercury showed that one does not need an award to be remembered as a legend. This movie may not win the Oscar for Best Picture, but it does not need it to measure its success and impact.

The film was nominated for 5 awards at the Oscars. These are:

  • Best Picture

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role for Rami Malek

  • Best Film Editing for John Ottman

  • Best Sound Editing for John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone

  • Best Sound Mixing for Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali

Bohemian Rhapsody won four out of these 5 nominations: Best Actor in a Leading Role for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing for John OttmanBest Sound Editing for John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone and Best Sound Mixing for Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali.



Image Credit: 1, 2, 3