Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the rise of the band Queen, and appropriately focuses on lead singer Freddie Mercury. It spans 15 years of Queen's rise and comeback and it's as much a concert as it is a biopic -- especially while showcasing the band's performance at Live Aid, a global charity concert in 1985 that raised money to fight hunger in Ethiopia.
Even before Bohemian Rhapsody begins, the 20th Century Fox logo appears on screen and the familiar trumpet fanfare morphs into an electric guitar, actually played by Queen's surviving members. When is the last time a non-comic-book-movie logo got cheers before a film? It sets up the movie in a great way.
The other reason to see Bohemian Rhapsody is Rami Malek's incredible performance as Freddie Mercury ( Its Oscar worthy). It's hard to imagine anyone being able to play the truly unique Mercury, with his high cheekbones, endless jawline and, of course, those teeth. Looking like Mercury is one thing, but being able to perform like him is quite another. Enter Malek, of . He has the look and embodies him head to toe. His performance carries the film.
On stage, Malek is outlandish, flirty and mesmerizing as he swaggers and shines with the real Mercury's confidence. His angular stance and press of vocals explode out of his spandex-covered frame like a bright light to the heavens. And that's just as Mercury on stage. Malek is adept at portraying both the rock star and the person. He delivers a vulnerable side to Mercury, driven by a search for identity as much as fame.
Of course, the movie is about Queen, so the rest of the band is there, and also played extremely well by their respected actors. The scenes of the whole band writing and recording are truly incredible, and showcase just how brilliant the band as a whole was.
The film was directed in part by Brian Singer of X-Men fame, before being fired and replaced by another (who directed the upcoming Elton John bio-pic), and the shots and overall cinematography were stunning. The inclusion of Mike Meyers ( of Wayne's World, which helped repopularize the title song) was an awesome touch as well. And although not entirely accurate ( the band actually had a album and world tour before Live Aid, not a spur of the moment getting back together at the last minute), hits on all the key elements you'd expect, and shows you a side of Freddy and the band you hadn't seen before.
Its a solid 9 out of 10
Bohemian Rhapsody is rated PG-13 for language (some very strong), drug use, alcohol use, sexuality, and adult themes
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox