They ARE the champions. Bohemian Rhapsody provides an inside look at the stormy inside story of the world’s greatest rock band, partnered with uncanny performances and a sublime soundtrack.
If there was ever a biopic to be made, it is the story of the great Freddie Mercury. However this film has taken a twisted road to cinemas, going through two directors, two Freddies and eight years of production. And yet, Bohemian Rhapsody does not disappoint.
Rami Malek leads as the late Freddie Mercury, in what could be a career defining role. While the film looks at fifteen years of Queen’s rise from 1970 to 1985, the film is centred around Freddie and his struggles to come to terms with himself.
Beginning with Mercury still working at Heathrow airport, we follow as he meets his future band mates, falls in love and writes some of the biggest anthems of the 70s and 80s. Malek provides hilarity, along with heart wrenching moments of emotional depth.
The supporting cast also gives a stellar performance, with Lucy Boynton (playing Mercury’s girlfriend and lifelong friend) providing a moral compass for Freddie as he begins to lose control at the height of his career.
Meanwhile Gwilym Lee, (as Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist), Ben Hardy, (Roger Taylor, the drummer) and Joseph Mazzello (as the bass player John Deacon) all shine in their respective roles as the other members of Queen. Each is given a chance to demonstrate how well they look and act like the real life rockstars.
Another stand out performance is Allen Leech as Paul Prenter, Mercury’s lover and personal manager. By the end of the film the audience begins to lothe the seemingly charming Prenter, who begins to take more and more decisions on behalf of Mercury, and takes him down a dark path of self destruction.
The scenes between Prenter and Mercury provide the dramatic centerpiece of the film, and at the screening I went to, had some of the audience in tears.
Aside from the acting, the film’s music is also one of its strengths. The origins for the band’s most famous songs are played out with fun and energy. The cinematography also shines, especially with reflecting surfaces providing extra space to fit more into the screen.
While I personally liked the film overall, some aspects disappointed me. The final scene feels more like a live concert DVD, than a dramatic conclusion that the movie was building up to.
In addition to this, some historical inaccuracies have been pointed out about the film’s timeline and the ordering of certain events. However, supported by the on set presence of real-life Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor as consultants, these changes were likely to help the film’s pace and structure, and are ultimately noticeable unless you go looking for them.
Overall I would recommend Bohemian Rhapsody, not only for the amazing acting performances, but also to hear and see the best sounding Queen tribute act in the cinema blaring out We Will Rock You.
Age rating: 12A
Bohemian Rhapsody is showing at the Macrobert cinema until November 11 (£6 student tickets)