Review: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy
Genres: Biography, Drama, Music
“Bohemian Rhapsody” hit theatres Nov. 6 in celebration of the legacy of 80’s rock band Queen, as well as its ‘controversial’ lead singer, Freddie Mercury, played by “Mr. Robot” star, Rami Malek. The highly-anticipated film traces the true story of Mercury’s rise to fame as well as of bandmates Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Rodger Taylor (Ben Hardy).
The film touches on multiple taboo Hollywood subjects, including Mercury coming to terms with his sexuality, his fight with drug abuse, and nine-year-long battle with AIDS. The film portrays these issues exactly how they should have been handled, by giving us the raw truth. I noticed the crowd’s reactions throughout the entire film were filled purely with shock, as the film gives a look into the other unknown side of the band.
The movie begins in 1970, with Mercury, a young insecure college-student, watching a local band, Smile, preform at a nightclub. Mercury eventually joins the band as lead singer and their success continues through the 80s, when they change the band name to the now famous Queen. Quickly into the film, tension arises across the members when Mercury’s ego got the best of himself. In 1984, the band splits, as Mercury gets a 4-million-dollar record deal to go solo from CBS Records.
Mercury returns to London in 1985 to ask for forgiveness from his bandmates and their manager Jim Beach, before revealing the fate of his health to his bandmates during a rehearsal. With the outbreak of AIDS spreading worldwide, he discovers through test results that he is infected with a life-threatening case of Stage III HIV. Mercury’s closest friends embrace him and reconcile before being given a last-minute slot to perform in July of 1985 for Live Aid, a benefit performance aired on national television.
“When we shot Live Aid, I sat down at that piano, and it was a feeling like no other of seeing something you’ve watched over and over and over again. And here you are living it,” Malek said.
The focus on Mercury’s secretive life behind the scenes touched hearts, although some viewers thought otherwise. One review on columbusalive.com stated, “This biopic is bi-phobic. At every turn, “Bohemian Rhapsody” presents Mercury’s life as tragic because of his participation in queer culture. Instead of celebrating his queer identity, the film recycles tired tropes of queerness as a threat.”
In summary, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is an eyeopener into the life of a star in the spotlight, as well as the meteoric rise of Queen through iconic songs and revolutionary style. Overall, I would say this film was not only inspiring, but also a box film biography masterpiece. A behind-the-scenes view of one of history’s most impactful bands.