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Growing up, I enjoyed listening to CDs of Queen, featuring rock legend, Freddie Mercury. I had to see the "Bohemian Rhapsody" movie, hoping it would live up to my expectations. After reading negative reviews, I feared I would be disappointed, but to my surprise, I was entertained from the beginning. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. The incredible lead performance.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" features a fantastic lead performer, Rami Malek. Malek fully encapsulates the energetic, quirky, eccentric, and flamboyant spirit of Freddie Mercury. It is clear that he is tapping into Mercury’s energy, especially in the concert scenes, which gave me a real idea of what it would have been like to be there in person. Malek perfectly captures Mercury’s strut, posture, and eclectic outfits.

2. Family life.

I loved learning about Mercury’s family and relationships along his journey. I discovered that Mercury had family origins in Persia and his ancestors were descendants of the Zoroastrians who fled Persia, landing in India in the 8th Century. Throughout the movie, we see the relationship between Mercury and his family members change meaningfully. From the beginning, his father is extremely conservative, and Freddie is closeted. When Freddie starts to explore his identity, it is painful to see his father's disapproval. One of my favorite scenes is when Freddie’s father finally learns to love and accept him for his true self.

3. Promotion of inclusivity and diversity.

I enjoyed watching Freddie Mercury, a gay, ethnically-diverse performer, explore his identity. I genuinely think this provided for an atmosphere that was inclusive, allowing the audience to feel comfortable and welcome, regardless of how they identified. Furthermore, this movie showed how an outlet like music could serve as a refuge for someone who might not feel safe or allowed to be oneself. We can see the transformation of a man, unaware of who he is, into Freddie Mercury, an iconic star.

4. The concert scenes.

Without a doubt, the highlight of this film was able to see Queen in live music scenes. The fact that these musical sequences were indeed Freddie Mercury’s was fascinating. The music was energetic and passionate, and the crowd’s excitement was extraordinary. Specifically, Life Aids performance almost brought me to tears, as well as making me want to scream the lyrics.

5. The perfect amount of emotion.

This film beautifully captures the emotional sentiments that were brought up throughout Mercury’s journey. Moreover, the film interwove the ideal balance of passion and music. One of the most moving scenes for me was after Mercury was diagnosed with Aids. The scene shows him telling his bandmates about his life-altering condition before it became public knowledge. The scene portrays the tight-knit relationship between the bandmates, and even after Freddie had some wrongdoings, his bandmates will nevertheless be there to support him.

6. The cast.

Finally, I want to credit the talented cast. Every cast member is a skillful performer and genuinely portrayed their roles. By the end of the movie, I forgot the band members weren’t Queen. The cast demonstrated how relationships require hard work and effort. In one scene where Freddie reveals his true sexual identity, Malek perfectly portrays Freddie's tortured emotions.  It is clear to see, through Rami Malek’s stellar performance, Mercury was in a state of emotional conflict.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" successfully examines Freddie Mercury’s journey, exploring his relationship with his family, his sexual identity, and experience in the world of music.

Lydia Schapiro

Wake Forest '21

Hi! My name is Lydia Schapiro and I am a Senior at Wake Forest University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. I am from NYC and enjoy running, yoga, writing, and water sports. I like to write about fitness, movies & books, and mental health. My guilty pleasure is binge watching Sex and the City. My favorite artists are Cage the Elephant, Billy Joel, The Beatles, John Mayer, and Paul Simon.
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