Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Myers
Run Time: 2h 14min
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
3 1/2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
Bryan Singer, known for Superman Returns, X-Men and The Usual Suspects was the perfect choice to make a movie about Queen. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who could have caught and ceremonious displayed the man Freddie Mercury was, with such concentrated effort on Queen’s stunning and charismatic music at the same time, as Bryan Singer. They were outstanding performers with phenomenal talent but what you never knew about the band off stage, most especially their inventive and creative lead singer, is gloriously shown here. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a must-see. Rami Malek, who plays him, embodies Freddie so well it’s almost eerie to see. Singer bookends the film with Queen’s epic performance at Live Aid and watching Malek’s Mercury brings both joy and sorrow… for what we had and what we lost.
The film establishes for us the timeline that took Queen to rise to the top of the charts around the globe. They start out as a common club band who were headed nowhere. Freddie, a man desperately searching for a way to escape who he is and become who he knows he can be, reaches out to them when they lose their lead singer. They look him over and aren’t interested until he opens his mouth and blows them away with his surprisingly extraordinary set of pipes. On stage, the audience looks at him the same way the band did and weren’t inclined to give him a chance either until he impresses them with his stage presence, versatility and his ability to hit the high notes and hold it.
While this is a biopic about Queen, and it does include their brilliant songs throughout the entire film, Singer gets more deeply involved in Freddie than the other individual members. Singer knew, as Freddie knew, there was no Queen without him.
Since it examines what brought Freddie to this point and where it leads him just as much as it covers the group entirely, it might feel as if you’re invading his personal space but it only tackles what he would have allowed… only what you may have already known. It’s very respectful of who he was, while at the same time, removing the thinnest of veils for us to see who he loved, what he was able to give and how little he needed in return.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is an absolute delight. This is a fantastic tribute to Freddie, it’s a good night out at the movies and practically an opera on its own. If you’re not a Queen fan when you walk into the theatre to find your seat you will be by the time you stand up and walk out. The cast gives this dramatic script life while at the same Rami Malek brings Freddie Mercury back to life for just a moment. It’s not a stretch to assume he’ll be up for an Academy Award for his performance. You’ll love Mike Myers as Ray Foster, the man whose shortsightedness let them get away. Also, when you get home, watch Queen at Live Aid. It’s uncanny how very well the actors and filmmakers were at reproducing that moment for you.
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