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Movie review: “Bohemian Rhapsody” showcases the life and love of Freddie Mercury

Actor Rami Malek attends the NY special screening of Bohemian Rhapsody at the Paris Theatre in New York, NY on Oct. 30. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a magnificent story of one of music’s most beloved rock legends, Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury.

The movie animates some of Queen’s most profound lyrics in the telling of the deepest and most tragic moments of Mercury’s life. The biographical film touches on Mercury’s home life, the inception of the band, his two greatest lovers and the tragedy that brought an abrupt end to his life. The film manages to fit 21 years of Queen and Mercury’s story into a run time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, and includes an exact recreation of the band’s legendary performance at Live Aid in 1985.

One of the biggest themes portrayed in the film is the loneliness of stardom. One scene shows Mercury getting out of bed and walking through his mansion, accompanied by six of his beloved cats. Other scenes from the movie convey his loneliness as he calls friends late at night and flashes his lamplight in the window to the “love of his life,” his dearest friend and next-door neighbor Mary Austin.

Emmy Award-winning actor Rami Malek portrays Mercury so well that even surviving members of Queen praised his performance. Malek prepared for the movie with numerous dance classes, movement and voice coaches in order to master Mercury’s free spirit.

Malek wore a set of fake teeth for months leading up to filming, and admitted in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres he had the teeth cast in gold in true Mercury fashion. Malek transformed into Mercury’s persona right down to the way he held his microphone.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” stole the top spot in the box office this weekend, already turning a profit in the first few days of its release. The movie secured the No. 2 spot for the biggest box office opening for a biographical music film, second only to N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015.

The movie’s culminating scene, the 1985 Live Aid concert, reiterates the hard work put into the making of the film. It replicates Queen’s performance during one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest moments in every single way, including the vocal improvisations Mercury originally performed, the exact outfits worn and the kisses Mercury blew to his mother on camera.

The end credits were accompanied with scenes of real Queen performances, closing titles of what happened to Queen and Mercury in the years after Live Aid and Mercury’s AIDS diagnosis in 1984.

This is a must-see movie for Queen fans and music lovers both young and old.

4.8/5

6 comments

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  2. For any fan of Queen, this film is a gross oversimplification of the band as well as Mercury’s life – its only redeeming quality being Malek’s excellent portrayal of the legendary frontman.

    https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/bohemian-rhapsody-review-basically-queens-wikipedia-entry-as-a-biopic/

    • To Abigail.. it was a MOVIE… NOT A BIOGRAPHICAL FACTUAL MOVIE to start with…..

      LIGHTEN UP ABIGAIL

      • Weird, Mike. I thought it was called a Biopic for a reason? While these things don’t have to be entirely factual, they do speak to the legacy of a man. So yeah, I’d say they could have done Freddie a bit more justice. While I’m delighted you enjoyed the movie, you can’t speak for all (MOST) Queen fans. Forgive me if I refuse to lighten up on this one.

  3. I say SCREW any negative reviews. I just saw the movie and it was OUTSTANDING.. I RARELY ever go see a movie twice. BUT THIS ONE I SURELY WILL!!!!!!!!
    I was in my 30’s during the QUEEN Hey day…I grew up in this era and lost several close friends including my brother to AIDS in 1991 before any viable drugs were available for people to take.

  4. The movie was entertaining and Malek wonderfully captured the Freddie Mercury that I remember, but it was fairly two-dimensional (music and sexuality) and not particularly nuanced in dealing with perhaps the greatest rock singer ever, and a high quality band that came off like cardboard cutouts. Having said that, I’m glad I saw it and I encourage all rock fans to check it out.

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