Out this week is Bohemian Rhapsody the untold story of Queen and the legendary singer Freddie Mercury. Starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury along with Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon.
Bohemian Rhapsody depicts the rise of Freddie Mercury and Queen as a whole. From 1970 all the way up to Live Aid in 1985 the audience is shown the various trials and tribulations of the legendary band.
What works so well for Bohemian Rhapsody is its cast. Rami Malek is compelling in the role of the iconic Freddie Mercury. He brings an infectious eccentricity to the role and you are constantly drawn to him in each scene. There is also an understandable vulnerability to him that makes him all the more compelling.
Clearly never comfortable in his station in life Mercury only finds respite in his music and as such an extension of that is the band who are a self-described family of misfits. This can be seen in the excellent rapport between the four cast members. Malek, Lee, Hardy, and Mazzello feel like a genuine family. They have brotherly squabbles give each other shit about their lives but at the end of the day they still love each other and it’s wonderfully endearing.
Another aspect of Bohemian Rhapsody which excels is the cinematography. Portions of the film are told through montages and each montage shows a point in Freddie’s life set to the music of a Queen song and it gives you the mindset he was in during that point in his life. It is fascinating, in particular, Another One Bites The Dust.
On the note of the score of the film, it’s perfect but was there any doubt? No of course not it’s Queen don’t be ridiculous.
The most interesting part of Bohemian Rhapsody is learning about these icons. After watching the film I can say without a doubt that I learned so much I didn’t know about Queen. Some of it was brilliant, the building of the iconography of Queen and the origins of each member. There were times where harsh truths were learned about Freddie that surprised me. I was taken aback and wasn’t sure if I wanted to learn more. This was down to a personal choice. Growing up with the music of Queen you idolise them as something more than a person and to learn they weren’t perfect is a tough pill to swallow.
If there are any issues it is that the story at times plays out like all artist based biopics. There are ups, downs, the inevitable make-up scene and the crescendo at the end. However when it is done this well, when the characters are this interesting, and the story is this emotional you don’t care.