Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the rise of rock sensation Queen with a focus on the band’s frontman Freddie Mercury. Starring Remi Malek of Mr. Robot fame as the legendary lead singer, Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t tell the story of Mercury from birth to death, but rather focuses on 15 years of Queen’s rise and comeback.
Paying special attention to the 1985 Live Aid concert which aimed to raise money to fight the famine in Ethiopia, Malek offers a masterful depiction of Freddie Mercury and while he doesn’t look exactly like Mercury, he embodies him from head to toe.
A Masterful Depiction of Freddie Mercury
It may be difficult to imagine an accurate depiction of Freddie Mercury owing to his unique features – the high cheekbones, seemingly endless jawline, and his overbite – but his style of performance was what really needed to be mastered.
Malek may not look exactly like Mercury – even with the prosthetic teeth – but his performance drives the entire film and Malek shines both in the depiction of Mercury on stage and in his darker, more intimate moments. Malek is mesmerizing on stage as he performs with such vigour as if channelling Mercury himself and gives himself over entirely.
An Intimate Portrayal of Friendship
As adept as Malek is at portraying Mercury the rock superstar, he is just as skilful in his depiction of Mercury the man. Some of the greatest moments in the film are not of on-stage performances – even though they are as epic as online slots real money Canada – but rather the portrayal of the intimate friendship between Mercury and his closest friend and partner Mary Austin, played by Lucy Boynton.
In these moments the audience is provided with a much more personal look into Mercury’s life as vulnerable and ambitious, driven by a search for identity. The film shows that Mercury may never have fully explored his talent or accepted his sexuality if it wasn’t for Mary.
The Recording of Bohemian Rhapsody
While the film’s focus is certainly on Mercury, the rest of the band is just as masterful in their portrayals. Gwilym Lee plays guitarist Brian May, Ben Hardy plays drummer Roger Taylor, and Joe Mazzello plays bass guitarist John Deacon.
Personally, some of my favourite moments in the film are when the four are recording a song, particularly the recording of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. The recording of the song took place in a farmhouse and Malek is particularly skilful in this moment – just him, alone at the piano, with his raw emotions and natural talent on full display.
A Film Shrouded in Difficulty
Bohemian Rhapsody lingered in production limbo for many years and had a slew of stars and directors come and go. In fact, it’s remarkable that the film is so good despite its messy creative process and it certainly does not deserve to be overshadowed by the controversy and off-screen in-fighting.
Phenomenally shot by cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, Bohemian Rhapsody is certainly a film which should be seen in the cinema, even if it is just to hear your favourite Queen songs in crisp surround sound.