A film that took years to make, surrounded by controversy with the director Bryan Singer and the change of lead actor from Sacha Baron Cohen to Rami Malek. This film had a lot to fight against and how could one film fit the eccentric life of the one and only Freddie Mercury? As an avid fan of Queen, this was one of my most anticipated films of this year and wanted this film to exceed and overcome the odds.
First off, Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury was close to perfect. Malek has an alluring presence that mirror’s Mercury’s. This is not an impersonation, this is not a exaggerated portrayal of the musical legend. Malek apply’s the right level of humanisation of Freddie, Malek is not pretending to be Mercury, he becomes the man, the myth and the legend. For all the criticisms that this film has received from critics the one thing that has been consistent is the praise for Rami Malek. It is well deserved.
Malek brings a person that has been inflated by the media to be a godlike trans-dimensional being to a human level that makes the audience sympathise with Mercury. The tragedy of someone having all the money in the world, loved by millions but still feels unloved, alone and unwanted is hard to make relevant but the talent of Malek showing a frailty to Mercury’s character was brilliant and at times made me have a tear in my eye. Rami Malek looks so alike Freddie as well that at times I could of mistaken him for the real Freddie Mercury. His performance was magnetic, full of energy and full of love and passion.
People can complain about the ‘sanitisation’ and the creative liberties that the film took, but with biopics it can go two ways. They can be an investigation into the person’s issues or they can be a celebration of someone’s life. This film is pure celebration, that tackles briefly his personal life and his struggle to feel loved but I was happy this sided with the positives of the man’s life because Queen is a once in a lifetime band that Mercury wanted to be remembered for. Even though he was considered eccentric, he kept his personal life private.
I find no error in the fact that this was a film that acted as a celebration of one of the greatest musical performers ever. This film was fun to watch and it was brilliant to listen to, at times I wanted to clap my hands, stand up and sing. Throughout I was saddened by the fact I will never get the chance to experience Freddie Mercury live in concert. The energy that this film ejected was addictive, it was constant. To see some of my favourite songs created from sparse conversation was brilliant. This is a film for Queen fans old or new. It made you thirst for the ability to travel back in time to experience the raw energy of a Queen concert. The Live Aid scene had marvelous CGI, it recreated the old Wembley with precise detail. It looked stunning and the recreation was at times scary of how real it looked.
Two hours flashed by and when the film faded to black I wanted more. I wanted to sing along to Radio Gaga, clap my hands to We Will Rock You. This was just a film that was entertaining throughout that also had a great Mike Myers cameo, which seemed fitting due to Wayne’s World bringing Bohemian Rhapsody back into the social consciousness. This is not a film that will please critics but I believe it is a film for Queen fans or just music fans in general because by the end as I am listening to Hammer to Fall right now, this is a celebration of the man that transformed and evolved music. A man and a band that performed some of the greatest ever pieces of music. Bohemian Rhapsody is entertaining, funny and full of energy. I stayed till the end of the credits not because of some post credit scene but I cannot leave a room when The Show Must Go On is playing. I have to sing and hear it in its entirety.