Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

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Bohemian Rhapsody is 2018 biographical film directed by Bryan Singer and is about the British rock band Queen. It follows Freddy’s life leading to their Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium. It stars Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Tom Hollander, Aiden Gillen and Adam Leech.

The film starts out in 1970 with Farrokh Bulsara an Indian-British Parsi college student working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. That night he goes to watch a local band called Smile perform at a nightclub. After the show he meets the drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May and offers to replace their singer Tim Staffell, who had just quit the band to join Humpy Bong. They add John Deacon as their bassist and change their name to Queen and play gigs across Britain until they sell their van to produce their first album. They land a contract with EMI Records and Farrokh legally changes his name to Freddy Mercury and gets engaged to Biba store clerk Mary Austin. During the band’s US tour, Freddy starts to question his sexuality.

In 1975, after recording their fourth album, A Night at the Opera, they leave EMI when executive Ray Foster refuses to have the six minute song “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the album’s first single. Freddy has the song played on Capital Radio, where it becomes a huge hit, after mixed reviews. He begins an affair with his personal manager Paul Prenter and comes out to Mary as bisexual and she breaks up with him and assures him that he is gay and that she has known for quite a while.

The film goes on to tell about the band’s success through the 80’s and Freddy’s relationship with Jim Hutton, a waiter at a lavish party he throws at his house in Munich. The press pressure Freddy and the bandmates about his sexuality after the release of their 1982 album Hot Space. After learning about the worldwide AIDS epidemic, Freddy has himself tested and learns he has it. But the band still performs at Live Aid. Mary and Mercury remained close friends until his death.

Although this film has several inaccuracies, it is still outstandingly done from beginning to end. But what biographical film is 100% accurate? The performing and acting is fantastic, everyone perfect for their roles, especially Malek as Mercury. At first, I couldn’t see him as Freddy, but now I do. This is his best performance to date. He has the look, the costumes, expressions, and mannerisms down, the voice needed just a little polishing and it would have been dead on as well.

Lucy Boynton was great as Mary Austin. Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello were equally great as Queen band members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. This film takes you through the life of Freddy’s relationship with both Mary and the band. You learn so much about the early days of Queen up until Freddy’s death, from the most accurate. You learn how Freddy struggled with drugs, alcohol, partying, his sexuality, his chain smoking his relationship with Jim Hutton and longtime affection for Mary Austin.

Although I was too young when Freddy died and wasn’t alive in the yearly days of Queen, I have learned about them and learned to appreciate their music and the impact they still continue to have on the music world (and gay community). Freddy has become an icon and inspiration, one that will live on like many, many others.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I found it extremely entertaining and wonderfully produced, despite the inaccuracies. I hope Rami Malek wins awards for his fantastic work. He is one of the best actors I’ve seen in a long time. I’m glad the director didn’t go with Sacha Baron Cohen, because this is far too serious of a film for him. I find this film too be far too adult for a PG-13 rating. 18+ 4/5

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