Bohemian Rhapsody is the 2018 film documenting the 1970s musical group Queen’s rise to fame. The story primarily follows Freddie Mercury and the internal struggles he faced throughout his life with his identity.
The band is shown to have started from humble beginnings and to have gradually defied expectations, coming out with hit song after hit song. Their most popular tracks include the likes of We Will Rock You, Another One Bites the Dust, Under Pressure, and, the film’s namesake, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Rami Malek plays the role of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. He was given a prosthetic for his teeth in order to achieve the look of Mercury, adding that much more to his amazing performance. Throughout the film, Mercury is seen maturing and changing as an individual, trying to find himself. Malek absolutely nails the emotional drive and struggles of the character, making for a dramatic yet informative glimpse into the life of Queen.
Another major point in the film is the group’s production of Bohemian Rhapsody. The group, having achieved some semblance of success with their early music, set out to create their first album with a major production company. Bohemian Rhapsody was labeled by many as a complete failure in music. However, Queen, and especially Mercury, stood behind the hit and wanted to make it the main song in their album. The film captures the negative public opinion of the song coming from everyone around them. The scenes are crafted to help illustrate that a large portion of Queen’s success was a product of the great risks they took in producing their music.
While witnessing an account of how Queen produced their greatest hits was entertaining, the most successful portion of the film was, in my opinion, their 1985 performance at Wembley Stadium in London for Live Aid. Having watched the recording of the live performance of Queen at this concert online, I can definitively say that this scene was the most impressive in the film.
A near 13-minute sequence in the film, Malek’s performance as Mercury is astonishing. His replication of the performance is a perfect tribute to the legendary lead singer. They are able to encapsulate the dynamic nature of a Queen performance, adhering close to reality in showing their ability to work a crowd and stray from a typical band’s performance. The sheer length of the scene was a massive surprise to me that I welcomed, featuring countless classic songs and including even the smallest details of the bands performance at Wembley so many years ago. While most films would show small cuts of such a long concert, Bohemian Rhapsody opted for a more authentic and more full representation in this case, which proved successful in bringing the film together.
I would give this film a 4.5 star rating out of 5 and highly recommend seeing it to anyone who is on the fence. It is a fun movie with great music, amazing performances, and deep emotion, enjoyable for anyone looking for a glimpse into the life of Queen.