By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Bohemian Rhapsody is a tribute to the life, music and death of Freddie Mercury, and the rest of Queen is there too.
Rami Malek shines as the band’s lead singer and mega star, while he is supported by Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon, and Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, the subject of the hit song, “Love of My Life.”
The film follows the band from the day Freddie first introduces himself, quickly becoming their new lead vocalist, up to their performance at Live Aid in 1985.
The film shows the many ups and downs the band experienced, as well as the family-like bond they developed over the years.
It is clear throughout the film that while it is a tribute to the entire band, its main focus is on the front man Mercury. However, despite this, each band member has their own unique personality and are fully fleshed out characters with their own issues.
During his lifetime, Freddie was a very unique man who refused to hold back in anything, whether it was his music or life in general, and this is very clear in Malek’s performance.
While some more focus could have been put on the rest of the band and their lives, the amount of time showing the emotional turmoil that Freddie went through as an artist is immense and, at times, simultaneously amusing and heartbreaking.
As this is a biopic, it was already common knowledge that Freddie passed away due to complications from AIDS, and the moment that he finds out in the film, while mostly silent, is truly one of the most enthralling scenes in the entire film. The somber moment truly shows the gravity of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.
The music in the film is fantastic, as Malek’s voice is mixed with Freddie’s and Canadian singer, Marc Martel to create the vocals.
While there were some historical inaccuracies in the timeline of events, the producers and those who worked on the film deliberately placed Pepsi logos all over the Live Aid stage for historical accuracy, as Pepsi had agreed to be a major sponsor for the Live Aid concerts and could be seen everywhere.
It’s based on the story of the band, so some creative licensing will be used.
The movie tackles many issues in Freddie’s life, ranging from his love of cats to his issues with his conservative parents to his sexuality, and it does it all in a way that is relatable and comes across as very human, showing that, often at times, we forget our heroes are one of us.
Each character presents as someone unique and whole, which is rare in a biopic that is generally focused on one individual. Hardy sticks out as Taylor often butted heads with Freddie and was there to challenge him when he needed it.
Lucy Boynton’s Mary Austin also stands out, as her story is one that is often not told, despite the fact Freddie considered her the love of his life, even writing a song for her.
Overall, the film was well made, well directed, and most certainly well acted. Malek stands out in his role as Freddie Mercury, and despite not putting enough focus on the rest of the band, they come across as fully fleshed out characters.