Bohemian Rhapsody – Rami Malek shines in a fun biopic about a music legend

Posted on 30 October 2018
By Roisin Gordon
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Bohemian Rhapsody explores the story of one of the most iconic rock bands, who created groundbreaking and experimental songs that have left a lasting legacy in the music world, as well as introducing the world to a legendary showman with their lead singer Freddie Mercury.

With its stunning performance from lead actor and an extraordinary story that captivates you, Bohemian Rhapsody delivers a fun feel good vibe throughout leaving you feeling uplifted.

The film follows Queen’s rise to fame, with the focus on the life of lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). It takes us through the formation of the band and the creation of some of their most iconic hits, to the lead up to the infamous Live Aid Concert.

Considering this film had a troubled production history, from change of lead actors to the firing of original director Bryan Singer towards the end of filming. This film still turned out to be an entertaining rollercoaster journey and a celebration of the extraordinary talents of Queen.

Freddie Mercury has gone down in history as one of the greatest showmen in music, and his story is just as interesting as the man himself.

It was fascinating to learn a little more about Freddie’s life away from the stage, and his journey from working as a baggage handler at an airport to becoming the legend we all know and admire today, really touches you.

Queen’s rise to fame is an interesting one, but considering that there was so much to cram into a two hour runtime it did have a few flaws with its story. It struggles with balancing the amount of focus given towards aspects of Freddie’s life, and can feel a little glossed over.

Freddie’s relationship with Jim Hutton was minimalized in the film, despite the fact that he played a big part in the remaining years of Freddie’s life. It would have been nice to give more time to properly develop their relationship and it would have been nice to see more scenes of them together.

Freddie’s battle with Aids is acknowledged, but also didn’t receive much focus and felt glossed over. It’s a shame they didn’t give a little more time to see how Freddie dealt with his diagnosis, as it was sidelined towards the end of the film before they could go into more detail about his battle.

Watching Queen come together to create new and exciting songs was incredible, as they tried to create something unique and different each time. When you hear any of their iconic songs from ‘We Will Rock You’ to ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, you feel a rush of excitement that will have you singing along with them.

The scene where they record Bohemian Rhapsody, really shows the genius of Queen and how their experiment of creating a song unlike anything else turned into one of their most iconic hits.

It even infuses a little comedy into the scene where you see Mercury being a complete perfectionist as he asks Roger Taylor to sing the Galileo verse repeatedly, much to his annoyance but you know it is worth it for the outcome they get.

The recreation of the Live Aid concert is spectacular, you can tell a lot of effort was put into the making of that scene. The actors bring so much passion to their performances, and the crowd shots that shows them having a great time, creates such an amazing atmosphere and really ends the film on a high note.

Rami Malek lights up the screen with his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, whose captivating performance carries the film from start to finish and brings so much high energy when performing the songs.

Malek does a fantastic job of portraying Mercury’s flamboyant and charismatic side, showing to be larger than life particularly when performing to an audience. However he is just as capable of displaying a much softer and vulnerable side in certain scenes.

Whilst Malek steals the show with his performance, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello, all give respectable performances as the rest of Queen’s members. You really feel the strong bond between them, whether they are poking fun at each other or making decisions about their next song.

Whilst the film doesn’t let them take too much of a back seat to ensure Freddie as the sole talent of Queen, they weren’t given as much room to shine in their scenes as Malek did.

Lucy Boynton delivers a great performance as Mary Austin, providing some really lovely moments in the film. Her chemistry with Malek is really sweet that it makes you invested in their relationship, and you admire how she stands by Freddie through their ups and downs together.

There’s even a small but memorable role from Mike Myers as record executive Ray Foster, who criticises Bohemian Rhapsody and refuses to release it as a single. Myers delivers the laughs with his scenes, and Wayne’s World fans will definitely enjoy the callback to that song.

Asides from a few flaws, Bohemian Rhapsody brings a fun energetic vibe and thrives on Rami Malek’s performance.

Purple Revolver Rating: 4/5- feel-good music and fun