I’ve been a Queen fan ever since I saw Wayne’s World back in 1991. To me, there has never been a band more innovative, fearless and just plain awesome in the history of rock. So to make a film about the band is a tall order, and while Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t reach the heights of the band, it is still a solid piece of entertainment.
The film follows the formation of the legendary rock group Queen: Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and John Deacon (Joe Mazzello) as they handle the challenges of fame and creative integrity.
The challenges that come with reviewing a biopic, especially from a fan, is removing your sense of fandom and focusing on the film itself; like is it entertaining, how true is it to the actual events, etc. As for just the film itself, it is quality entertainment through and through.
The performances across the board are just excellent. Malek has the near impossible task of capturing the essence of a man that truly marched to the beat of his own drum. Even though in the first act there seemed to be some difficulty in getting into Freddie’s skin, by the second act Malek truly made me believe that he was Freddie Mercury.
A lot of focus of the film is his relationship with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), and rightfully so. As sweet and beautiful as it is, I wish there was more of it in the film, a problem that comes with knowing the real events behind their relationship.
Somethings in the movie do feel short changed, like the dynamics of the band for one. Roger and Freddie in the film seem to have a more volatile relationship compared to other members of the band and I wish we could have seen how that developed. The scenes where they are all working together as a band, writing some of the best songs in history, are some of my favorites in the whole movie as few as they are. A classic case of I just wanted more; to see more, to know more.
Even with the abundance of inaccuracies, and omissions (Freddie wasn’t diagnosed with AIDS until 1987, and there’s no mention of David Bowie and his giving Under Pressure to the band) the music of Queen is so infectious, the acting so genuine that I can overlook that stuff. I hope that fresh faces come into the movie becoming fans. As a film, just pure, joyous entertainment that left me with a smile on my face.