When I first sat down to write this review, I had my notes organized with words and ideas about the newly released film, Bohemian Rhapsody. I had it all sorted out: my research of Freddie Mercury, Queen’s timeless songs, the facts and fiction in the film. Yet when it came down to actually writing, I was stuck. Overwhelmed by the British rock band’s achievements in music history and Freddie Mercury’s powerful voice. It felt like I’d never be able to express our love and gratitude for Queen – but this film sure did a mighty fine job of it.
I’m sure many movie lovers agree that a great movie is determined by how you feel when the closing credits are over. Bohemian Rhapsody left me in a happy mood all week. Before I get into details about the film, I want to reassure my readers that there are no spoilers.
Without a doubt, Rami Malek (known for Mr. Robot) was an excellent choice to play the role of Freddie Mercury. Obviously it was a tough role to play. However, similar to the way Freddie Mercury engaged with his audience on stage, Malek’s portrayal of Mercury’s confidence and fearlessness makes the audience feel part of Queen’s journey. In the article by Corey Chichizola, “How Queen Feels About Rami Malek Portraying Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody,” the lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May admitted, “We kind of saw Freddie in him and we could sense Rami’s passion. The first time we saw him was actually in Roger’s flat. It must have been horrible for him, having us watch him for the first time. But we were really blown away by him and his ability to perform – he’s incredible.” Although a live performance could never be replicated, Rami Malek created a memorable performance of Freddie Mercury’s powerful voice and spirit on stage.
I had goosebumps when the song, Bohemian Rhapsody was slowly getting made into what it is today. Queen broke barriers and brought new perspectives to song writing, especially by including an operatic section in a rock song. Even though it was a tribute to Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody shows each band member’s part in creating the songs we still love today. The band’s family-like relationship, the loving friendship with Mary Austin, and how Mercury comes to terms with himself and his sexuality keeps you entertained the whole film.
The target demographic for this film is simply Queen fans. Young or old, rock or pop fans. It doesn’t matter. Queen was for everyone and so is this film. So, if you haven’t seen it yet – go. You’ll be banging your head to Bohemian Rhapsody the whole way home.