Last updated on November 1, 2019
Claire B., Senior
Bohemian Rhapsody, directed by Bryan Singer, tells the iconic story of the UK band Queen, and their front man, Freddie Mercury. Queen came together in 1970 in London when four young educated musicians, lead singer Freddie, lead guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and bass player, John Deacon, used their unique skills and charisma to book shows in small venues, which soon began to gather a following. The band caught on, and suddenly Queen became a well-known name in the music industry. They were the creators of some of the most influential and experimental mainstream music; creating innovative songs like a widely popular rock and roll opera. Through the years they released around 15 major albums. Even though they were consistently producing great music, we of course know them for the 1975 classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Rami Malek did a fantastic job of portraying the considerably exuberant lead singer, with a flair for dramatics. Malek has been in several movies and has been the star of the series ‘Mr. Robot’ since 2015. I think it is fair to say that to date, Freddie is the biggest role that Malek has ever bagged. Bigger, not only in the sense that the production had a budget of 52 million, but also because of the size of Freddie’s personality. Malek successfully recreated his peacock strut across the stage, his flamboyant nature, and his wonderful overbite – of course with help from some prosthetic teeth. Originally born in Tanzania, Freddie changed his name later in life from Farrokh Bulsara to the recognizable Mercury. His history is addressed in the film, along with a reasonable focus on personal family drama he dealt with. Though he was flamboyant and unreserved, Freddie kept a lot of his life private. With a lot of attention on his personal relationships and preferences, this film exposes that privacy and his other side.
At the age of 45, Freddie passed away from AIDS related issues. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ does not reveal this to everybody; however it does use it at as one of the largest factors of its storyline. Mercury’s descent into sickness and self-hatred holds a significant portion of the film. The film also highlighted his transition from being married to his best friend Mary Austin to the realization that he is gay. With so much attention on these aspects of his life, it felt almost detached from what Queen really is to so many. About an hour into the film the basic tragic hero story starts to emerge, and you forget you’re experiencing the life of Freddie.
Hearing all of the amazing music was nostalgic, and the concert scenes felt very authentic. I think it lost sight of what Queen was, but in reality, so did Freddie. Because of how smooth Queen’s ride to fame was, the bumps along the road had to be represented though Freddie’s personal struggles. As far as it ranks as a good quality movie, it is not that high on the list. There were a lot of jerky transitions, generic filming, and clichéd special effects. These are things that a lot of people do not notice, and they do not change their perception of a film, but for some, they are just as important as the casting and script. If you are looking for a fun movie for a casual viewing, I would recommend it!