Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody

In Theatres: 
Nov 02, 2018
Running Time: 
134 minutes

There is nothing ordinary about Queen and Freddie Mercury. They are arguably the greatest rock band to ever perform, creating some of the most iconic songs that have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s difficult to imagine any filling the shoes of Freddie Mercury, but Bohemian Rhapsody puts its trust in Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek who delivers an award-worthy performance as he carries the majority of the film on his shoulders. Malek lives up to Mercury’s lavish and over-the-top persona as he belts out one hit song after another in a tribute worthy of Queen’s status among rock legend.


As much as Bohemian Rhapsody is the story about Queen, it’s really Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) who is front and center, as he should be. The biographical drama follows Mercury from when he was a college student and first joined guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy). Together with bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), the band Queen would use their talents to redefine rock music and change the entire industry.


Like any good rock biopic, the heart and soul of the film lies within its soundtrack and thankfully Bohemian Rhapsody has some of the best songs to pull from. “Love of My Life,” “We Will Rock You,” “Under Pressure,” “We Are the Champions,” and of course the titular “Bohemian Rhapsody,” are all incorporated to into the film along with so many more. Make no mistake, Bohemian Rhapsody is a rock concert film first and foremost. The biographical content comes second to the music.


It’s in the film’s story and portrayal of everyone, Mercury included, that things are a bit iffy. The film touches on Mercury’s sexuality and “candle burning on both ends” lifestyle but it never fully explores it in a way you would expect an Oscar-contender to do so. I feel like there was so much more it could have explored. It’s also extremely loose with the timeline; Mercury didn’t confirm that he had AIDS until 1991, but Bohemian Rhapsody uses it as the driving catalyst for 1985’s Live Aid concert. The film takes many liberties with the facts, as many biopics do, but Rami Malek’s charisma and eerie similarity to Mercury make it more than entertaining nonetheless. The film culminates with the iconic Live Aid concert in its entirety. For 20-minutes, Rami Malek commands the stage and screen as he fully captures the essence of Mercury. It’s an amazing segment to watch and is easily one of my favorite moments in film this year.


Bohemian Rhapsody is far from a perfect film, but Rami Malek nails his performance as Freddie Mercury, and that alone makes it work watching. He’s absolutely captivating on screen and will no doubt get you stomping your feet and clapping your hands along with Queen throughout. There are plenty of dramatic moments that the studio no doubt wants audiences to see the film as an Oscar contender, but they’re not the reason why you need to see this film. The music and Freddie Mercury have always been the lifeblood of Queen, and it’s the same for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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