[MINOR SPOILERS FOR BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY MAY OCCUR BELOW. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!]
If a majority of critics have ever been completely wrong about a movie, it’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I went in with low expectations after reading an influx of negative reviews and came out downloading every Queen album and knocking down the doors of academy members so I could persuade them to give Rami Malek his well deserved Oscar. For a band that spent their whole career subject to scathing reviews, it’s almost fitting that many critics didn’t enjoy the movie. But similar to the song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I would regard the film as epic, entertaining, and emotional.
Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury was flawless. He was so spectacular that I oftentimes wondered if they were switching in and out of real footage. It was also refreshing to watch Malek explore the different parts of Freddie’s life, both his ups and his downs. The movie never shied away from topics I suspected it would. In fact, I may be wrong, but I feel like I’ve never heard a character on the big screen flat out say the words “I think I’m bisexual” before this film.
The movie, however, does not stop with Malek’s greatness, but rather continues with the rest of the cast. Brian May, portrayed by Gwilym Lee, did far more for his performance than just slap on a wig. John Deacon, portrayed by Joe Mazello, had the quiet confidence needed to play the bassist. Ben Hardy, who played Roger Taylor, brought Roger’s attitude to the table and definitely melted some hearts.
Biopics based on musical artists can easily rely upon musical performances and not much else. While the musical performances in this were strong, as expected, they were not all that was good about this movie. In fact, I found the most touching parts to be just watching the band interact and grow together through the course of the movie.
I also really appreciated while they didn’t make Freddie out to be a complete angel, they also didn’t tarnish the kind reputation he had. I think if he was here to see this film he would be very happy with the way it turned out. Also, knowing that the remaining band members were involved in creating this film helped me to get past some of the historical inaccuracies. If Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon are okay with how the movie turned out, then I think the rest of us can be as well.
Before Freddie Mercury’s untimely passing, it is said that he told his longtime manager Jim “Miami” Beach to “Do anything you want with my music, dear. Just never make me boring!” Well, Freddie, you’d be happy to know this film is anything but.
Bohemian Rhapsody is currently playing in theaters everywhere.