It is not a stretch to say that Queen is quite possibly the most legendary band that has ever existed. Queen never stuck to the typical formulas record companies craved so much, even back then. They loved to experiment, combine genres and wrote profound lyrics. While all of the members are legends, one of the members stuck out the most. Freddie Mercury. A showman like no other. There is not a singer alive or dead who has come close to his skills. Mercury knew how to interact with a crowd. He was a true showman, but shy off the stage. His life was interesting, filled with good moments, but also a fair share of tragedy. Ten years after the initial reports on this film, Bohemian Rhapsody is finally out to tell the story of this remarkable showman and the band that changed music forever.
What is it about?
Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of how the band Queen was formed. Farrokh Bulsara works at Heathrow Airport, but dreams of bigger things. He changes his name to Freddie, much to the dismay of his father. Freddie heads out to see a gig of the college band Smile. He enjoys their music, and has done his research on the members. After the show, he starts looking for the band and a girl who piques his interest tells him they are out back. Freddie finds them and they tell him their leadsinger had just quit. Freddie proposes himself as the new singer. Roger Taylor is not convinced, until Freddie starts singing. Roger and Brian are impressed and with the addition of John Deacon, Queen is born. The film touches upon the highs and lows of the formation of the band and also that of Freddie himself, as fame and solitude start taking its toll on him.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a great biopic for both fans of the band and casual listeners alike. Before we delve into the contents a little more, the casting director should get a hand of applause. Every familiar person is casted spot on, specifically the band members. They do such an amazing job that it is hard to believe that they are not actually the real Queen. Naturally the main round of applause goes to Rami Malek. He is Freddie and it is evident he has prepared well for his role as te superstar. From the voice to the mannerisms, to the way Freddie moves. It all works. Initially Sascha Baron Cohen was going to play Mercury, but I don’t think he could have come close to Malek.
There are some genuinely funny moments in the film, especially in the beginning when the band is just starting out. The more they rise to fame, the grimmer it all becomes. Especially Freddie loses himself along the way, mainly due to bad influences and the search for who he really is. It is heart-breaking to see. It goes to show that fame can’t buy you happiness.
A lot of people had issues with the trailer, as it depicted Freddie prefering the company of a young blond woman over that of men. Many cried straightwashing, but this is not the case. The fact of the matter is that Mary Austin was the love of Freddie’s life. He even wrote the song “Love of My Life” for her. The reason why they broke up was because he came to terms with his sexuality, but she always stayed close to him. Mercury even described her as the only friend he ever had. So it makes sense that she has such an important role in the film. Don’t worry, Freddie in this film version is very true to the real life Freddie.
The film does not show his tragic death, which was a good choice. It now ends on a high, just like Freddie deserved.
At times the film takes a bit too long to get going again, but all in all it is an entertaining film for fans and non-fans alike. Some liberties have been taken when it comes to the timeline, but it still works. If you love music, this is definitely a film to watch.