Written by: Dylan Delaney
By Dylan Delaney
Bohemian Rhapsody is the 2018 biopic of rock and roll legend Freddie Mercury and Queen. It captures their initial formation, and the years leading up to their famous Live Aid concert appearance in 1985. Queen fans or really anyone who has heard their popular hits are going to love this film. Not only does it bring them back to life, but it also tells the story behind how they came to be.
Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury has been very well received considering the complexity of the character, and the skill level required to convincingly pull it off. Replicating Mercury’s unique demeanor and stage presence was no easy task. Malek said that he worked with a choreographer to master Freddie’s mannerisms and dance moves. The vocals were a combination of Malek’s and the original soundtrack. Malek has explained in interviews that he met Brian May and Roger Taylor, the remaining members of Queen, at Abbey Road Studio in London prior to receiving the role. He also took voice and piano lessons beforehand in preparation. The actual Queen members were involved with production, which added to the film’s overall authenticity. Another large attribute of becoming the character was his false teeth, which helped him understand that specific insecurity. Needless to say, he did a fantastic job.
Music defines this entire film, and emotionally unifies the members of the group who “don’t belong together”. Most of the popular Queen songs are incorporated into the film. If they aren't literally sung, then they are played as background music. Given that the film is well over two hours long, they could only highlight their major hits. Seeing the unique behind the scenes process of how the songs came to be is fascinating, and makes you appreciate them even more.
With any success story, there is always plenty of conflict. Controversy has surrounded the film related to how much attention would be paid towards Freddie’s sexuality. From the moment the trailer was initially released, only a brief shot of an intimate moment between him and another man was seen. Compare that to his relationship with Mary Austin, which is repeatedly shown, there was an apparent imbalance. Regardless, the film does a good job touching upon the various aspects of his career while still addressing other important areas.
The final sequence of Live Aid concert is truly spectacular. Live Aid was global initiative meant to raise one million pounds for the hungry affected by the Ethiopian famine. Every little detail was recreated, down to the Pepsi cups on the piano. There are a few shots in particular that left my eyebrows raised. Experiencing the film in IMAX is also incredible, especially during all of the concert sequences. It is extremely immersive, and simulates the viewer as being a member of the crowd.
From the fantastic visuals and performances, Bohemian Rhapsody beautifully recreates the iconic moments which shaped Queen's legacy.
Written by: Dylan Delaney