“Bohemian Rhapsody” was nothing short of a musical experience showcasing the greatest successes, failures and hits of one of history’s most beloved bands, Queen, and its legendary lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek).
This film follows Mercury’s adult life beginning from when he was just a young man still living with his parents and hauling luggage at an airport. Even before his fame, Mercury carried himself with the confidence and ambition of someone who was already beloved by millions. Malek does a fantastic job of portraying early Mercury’s humble yet confident attitude as he becomes the lead singer of the band.
The film features all of Queen’s most iconic hits such as “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Somebody to Love” and, of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Recordings of Mercury’s voice were blended with Malek’s and other voices to create an authentic and genuine movie soundtrack.
Malek’s performance of Mercury makes him one of the best biographical actors to date. He perfectly mimics Mercury’s endearing charisma. His actions as Mercury are extremely deliberate and thought out. He studied and perfected Mercury’s every move from the way he walks to the way he bites his lips to distract from his signature overbite smile.
Going into the movie, I was afraid it was going to present Mercury as a poster-child for HIV and AIDS. Mercury never wanted to be defined by his diagnosis and remained secretive about his health until the very end of his life. He wanted to spend the rest of his days doing what he loved. The film respected the late Mercury’s wishes and only included pertinent information about the band's career and personal struggles.
This film encapsulates the true essence of Queen. They were more than a band — they were a family who loved performing and giving people something to believe in. It’s difficult not to get chills during the scenes of live performances. Seeing Mercury hypnotize a crowd of more than 100,000 people into repeating any riff he can come up with is magical.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” focuses on the revolutionary ideas and concepts Queen used in its music. Audiences get an inside look of the perseverance the band had to have to get their ideas heard. The band incorporated operatic singing and used household objects to get different sounds and textures of music. Queen’s refusal to compromise its art form make for a great plot.
This movie displays a sense of belonging for the band members and their fans everywhere. Rock ‘n’ roll was an escape and a safe haven for outsiders like Mercury. The film culminates in the band’s historic performance at the Live Aid charity event. This performance mirrors who Freddie Mercury was to everyone who listened to his music — legendary, loud and larger than life.