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Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic that chronicles the years leading up to Queen’s incredible, and legendary, performance at the Live Aid 1985 concert. The film is directed by Bryan Singer, and stars Rami Malek in the leading role as the legendary front-man Freddie Mercury.
First off – this movie was a lot of fun to watch. I anticipate seeing it at least once more before its run in the theater comes to an end. It’s not perfect by any means – bad mistakes, it’s made a few. However, if you are in the mood for a fun 80’s binge then the mistakes can be easily overlooked.
From the opening scene you know that this movie is going to be love letter to the band, and to Freddie Mercury. Malek plays the role of Freddie Mercury to pure perfection. He commands every second of screen time given to him, just the way Mercury commanded such a presence when on stage, and in his personal life. It is almost as if Mercury was resurrected from the dead and performed in his own movie. The energy that Malek is able to bring to the stage performances are amazing. He also nails being able to play Mercury in the quieter moments of the film as well – truly an Oscar worthy performance.
The concert scenes are what make this movie what it is. The masterful cinematography and sound design really puts the movie audience in the audience of a Queen concert. The beginning of the movie that shows how Queen exploded into popularity is an exciting ride to take. And the recording scenes that show all of the band members creating many of Queen’s top hits are extremely entertaining. Then, in the last 20 minutes of the movie, we get to see the legendary Live Aid concert. Spectacular! I dare you not to sing along with the crowd as Malek performs hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer to Fall, We are the Champions and many more. And to clarify – the “crowd” you’ll be singing with does not just mean the on-screen crowd, but the people in your theater as well.
Now, as stated previously, Bohemian Rhapsody is not a perfect movie. There is about thirty-five to forty-five minutes where the film really loses its momentum. Almost as if the movie were directed by somebody completely different (which it was due to Bryan Singer getting fired from the project in the last few weeks of shooting). These “slow” scenes are necessary, but poorly paced and directed.. They are used to show the drug fueled, sex driven yet empty life that Mercury had after reaching peak stardom with Queen. However, there was no need for them to be “slow” – or at least to be as slow as they were. After being on such a great adrenaline ride at the beginning of the movie these scenes really kill the pace – and is was keeps Bohemian Rhapsody from being a perfect movie. But, we get another adrenaline shot with the Live Aid concert scene and you’ll forget all about the last thirty-five minute slog you experienced.
Go see Bohemian Rhapsody, and see it in IMAX or a Dolby cinema where the sound quality is at its greatest. This is a movie meant to be experienced with clear and loud speakers. This was indeed a killer Queen biopic.
Bohemian Rhapsody gets a score of 8/10. Absolutely worth seeing, and may get some Oscar love this year. Just expect the middle to slow down a bit.
Have you seen Bohemian Rhapsody? What did you think of it? This movie is getting very “meh” reviews from critics, do you fall in their camp or mine and why? Leave a comment below and let’s make it a discussion.