Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review
The long-awaited film chronicling the journey of the iconic rock band Queen has finally been released worldwide today. I had the chance to see an early viewing along with our good friend Bloom, and I wished to share my thoughts on the storied and monumental music film.
WARNING: There may be minor spoilers throughout the article. For those of you who don't know, there has been a Queen film "in the works" for around a decade now. Through various tribulations which arose throughout development, the idea of a biopic depicting the world domination of this band was lost to development hell. That was of course until today, as the world sees this film in theatres. My mentor and teacher wrote his PhD thesis on Freddie Mercury and Queen, so I have had a great deal of insight into the band and their story over the past few years. Starring Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, and Joseph Mazzello as the four members of the band, I left the theatre after viewing this film feeling impacted. The four main cast members were nothing short of phenomenal. Rami Malek's portrayal of a stunningly charismatic but lonely and conflicted Freddie Mercury was outstanding. The portrayals of the headstrong Brian May (Lee), the charming Roger Taylor (Hardy), and the reserved John Deacon (Mazzello) were also delightful. Additional standout roles included Lucy Boynton in the role of Freddie Mercury's close friend and ex-lover Mary Austin and Game of Thrones' Aiden Gillen in the role of manager John Reid. The cinematography and writing also amazed upon first viewing. The scenes were instsntly immersive, particularly the finale at Live Aid. The swooping camera and audience shots gave the viewer the feeling as though they were at the 1986 event themselves. The band members meshed organically on screen, in part due to their consistent and well-constructed character, based on their real life counterparts. The pacing of the film stood out as a distinct weak point. Sudden time jumps and inconsistencies throughout the film left me feeling confused and rushed, even as someone who knows an extensive amount about the band. The casual viewer may be left lost as to what year or location each scene is found in. There were also a few historical inaccuracies periodically throughout the film. Songs were performed at times in which they were not yet written, and several characters had their identities altered significantly. Freddie was also portrayed to be bordering on alcoholism, when in reality Freddie Mercury drank very little. Despite its flaws, I felt that my expectations going into the film were met and exceeded at points. Highly recommend that you check it out if you have an interest in either Queen or the bands and events that shaped music history.