Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

WSPN's Meredith Prince gives her take on

Credit: 20th Century Fox

WSPN’s Meredith Prince gives her take on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic of the British rock band Queen.

Meredith Prince

Queen, the British rock band formed in 1970, has finally received its well-overdue biopic. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” named after the band’s six-minute song that is one of the best-selling singles of all time, relives Queen’s journey to becoming a successful band and how they created their music. More specifically, it tells a detailed story of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, who defied all convention in the music industry and ultimately became one of the most celebrated entertainers of all time.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” opens with Queen performing at the Live Aid concert in 1985, which was a massive concert to raise funds for the relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. The movie quickly switches to 15 years in the past, where Freddie begins to showcase his musical intelligence.

According to the movie, the band came together effortlessly. Freddie approached two men who performed at a local bar and their lead singer had just quit. He sang a quick melody for the two, and although they questioned Freddie’s musical style, they accepted him. They then found a bassist, and thus, Queen was born.

As the movie progresses, the director takes us on a journey of Queen’s rise to fame as well as the process of the creation of their music. The viewers are drawn in as we constantly wonder which song will be created next, how they will create it and what’s next in store for the band. However, we also follow the struggle of Freddie and his battle with discovering who he is, as well as his sexuality.

Rami Malek is an Egyptian-American actor who has won many awards, including the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Malek’s passion for acting was on full display in his performance as Freddie Mercury. Malek played the role of Freddie with excellence. He accurately depicted Freddie’s diva-like attitude, passion for music and unconventional lifestyle. Malek even wore a set of XL-sized teeth to mimic Freddie’s large overbite – one of his most distinctive features.

Many critics applaud Malek’s performance as Freddie. However, there are many aspects of his life that were not accurately depicted or well-explained. The director barely touched many important elements of Freddie’s life, and some were not even acknowledged. His harsh relationship with his stiff, conservative parents is never fully explained, and we never get a true glimpse into his family life.

Perhaps the most disappointing part of the film is the lack of representation of Freddie’s struggle with his sexuality. Although the movie shows a couple of scenes where Freddie converses with both men and women and displays emotional issues of who he has feelings for, the film breezes over his early struggle with his transitioning feelings. If the movie had delved deeper into Freddie’s personal life, the viewers could’ve had a better understanding of how he overcame his personal struggle and his family’s acceptance.

Although several aspects of Freddie’s life are not fully developed in the film, it is a lively, heartwarming celebration of Queen and its story. The final scene revisits the Live Aid concert where Freddie sings his heart out, knowing it will be one of his last performances due to his recent diagnosis of AIDS. This scene, in particular, was the most emotional of the film.

I went into the theater knowing almost nothing about the band and walked out as if I had a personal connection with every member of Queen. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or not, “Bohemian Rhapsody” should be on your list of movies to watch. But prepare yourself for an emotional ride.

Rating: 8.5/10

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.