June 7, 2023

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers.

The film Bohemian Rhapsody takes its audience on the extraordinary journey of the prolific band Queen and through the life of lead singer Freddie Mercury.

This movie takes viewers back to a time where music was the voice of peace and where people fell in love with the music and the band Queen.  

The 2019 Oscars will take place tonight, Feb. 24, and this film could not be in a better position to win. Rami Malek, who plays Mercury, is up for best actor. The film has also been nominated for best picture (Graham King, producer), sound editing (John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone) and sound mixing (Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, John Casali).

The story begins in 1970, a time when both the Vietnam War and rock ’n’ roll were having a major influence on society. Music was the voice of the everyday person and Queen took that to a whole new level. At the beginning of the movie, Mercury is just a local guy who loves music and happens to be very talented. A local bar band has lost its lead singer and needs a new one. This is where Mercury comes along and, since he had such a wonderful voice, he joins up. The band is initially named Smile, but Mercury suggests it change its name to Queen.

From there on, Queen takes off, releasing its first album on July 13, called Queen. The album features songs such as Keep Yourself Alive and Doing Alright. These were the most popular songs on the album. The album Queen II was released on March 8, 1974, and featured songs such as Procession and Father to Son. That same year, on Nov. 8, Queen released another album called Sheer Heart Attack. That album featured the famous song Killer Queen.

On Nov. 21, 1975, Queen released arguably its most famous album, A Night at The Opera. This album featured some of the band’s most famous songs, such as My Best Friend and Bohemian Rhapsody.

In the film, Queen meets with a record agent who dislikes Bohemian Rhapsody and thinks the run time is too long. He argues that a six-minute song will never air on the radio. To that agent’s disbelief, the song becomes extremely famous, along with the band. Toward the end of the film, during the Live Aid concert scene, Queen performs Bohemian Rhapsody in front of 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium. During that scene, that same agent listens to that song over the radio, frowning and drinking. It’s humourous.  

Malek couldn’t have been casted more perfectly. The actor was spot on in appearance and personality. In addition, he performs a lot like Mercury did. The film does a wonderful job at showing how excellent a performer Mercury and his fellow bandmates were. Lead guitarist Brian May is known as one of the greatest guitar players of all time; he is portrayed this very well in the movie by Gwilam Lee.  

“Put Rami Malek high on the list for best film performances of 2018. As Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the British band Queen, the Mr. Robot star performs miracles, catching the look, strut and soul of Mercury, who died of complications from AIDS in 1991,” wrote Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.

The movie takes its audience through Mercury’s struggle with his sexuality and how he eventually comes out. Mercury was in love and engaged to Mary Austin, played by Lucy Boynton. It shows the true difficulty there and heartbreak when Mercury tells her he is gay. It portrays how much Mercury loved her, just not in the way she wanted.

The movie also deals with the difficulties Mercury had with racism. Mercury was of Indian descent and was discriminated against for this. He eventually ignores these racial slurs and proves how strong he is and how little he is affected by people like that.

The movie also shows the immense transition in Mercury’s life, from airline baggage handler a world-renowned musician.

The film shows its viewers that not everything was perfect with the band. Throughout the movie, Mercury is manipulated by Paul Prenter, played by Allen Leech, who was also Mercury’s lover. Mercury ends up going solo for a while, producing two albums. The film shows how Mercury has an epiphany about the people with whom he was surrounding himself. Mercury rejoins Queen and the band makes a last-minute decision to perform at the Live Aid concert in London.

The concert scene was the perfect way to end the film — on a high note that truly captured that exhilarating event. Mercury and Queen put on a show of a lifetime and truly interacted with the crowd. It went down as one of the greatest performances in history. Shortly before the concert, Mercury tells his bandmates that he has AIDS, and they promise to keep that quiet for the time being. That showed the true brotherhood of Queen and how much Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon respected Freddie Mercury.

The film is concludes with a message stating Mercury passed away due to AIDS in 1991. Bohemian Rhapsody is a true celebration of Queen and the great Freddie Mercury.

Update, Feb. 25: Bohemian Rhapsody won four Academy Awards on Oscar night: sound mixing, sound editing, film editing and best actor.

Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer

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