In the various online polls for which celebrity the public could bring back from the dead, the legend that is Mr Freddie Mercury (originally known as Farrokh Bulsara), will consistently be found near the top of the list. But can this Queen bio-pic have us thinking the show must go on, or will it be another music blockbuster that bites the dust?

The film follows Rami Malek’s Oscar-worthy performance as Freddie Mercury from when he discovers, joins and leads the band Queen up until their infamous performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. However, despite input from the bands surviving members; Brian May (portrayed by Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (portrayed by Ben Hardy), this film is not a documentary. There has been some creative licensing over the times of some events and whilst that is a criticism, it must be remembered that this is a 2-hour film, not an 11-episode series. But, director Bryan Singer, still manages to provide an engaging, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting story of an illustrious performer.

Bohemian Rhapsody’s strongest card (and biggest curse) is that of its main character, Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek is phenomenal. As soon as he swaggers onto screen and is strutting around like he owns the planet, you forget you are watching an actor and are instead captivated by what could easily be archive footage of the man himself. Unfortunately, it is no secret that the Queen front-man did not have the most straightforward of lives, or the happiest and the film does not delve into that as much as some may have liked. However, having done research into Freddie’s life and the reasoning behind the story choices, it seems the decision was well intended. Instead of portraying a tragedy of drugs, twisted parties and death, the writers decided to make it more of a celebration of the man, not a depressing memorial piece.

However, this is not just about the man, this is also about the band and what a band. From ‘We Will Rock You’ to ‘Love Of My Life’ to the titular song, we get to see the creation process for some of their greatest hits, with comedic arguing galore.

Taylor (High Pitched): “GALILEO”,

Mercury: “Higher”,

Taylor:” If I go any higher only dogs will hear me”

The biggest treat for the ears comes with the performances, as you would almost be fooled into thinking you were actually listening to Mercury belting out ‘Radio Gaga’ and that is because you are. The performances are comprised of voice-mixing between Rami Malek, Freddie Mercury and Canadian singer Marc Martel who has toured with Queen on occasion. However, these add to performances that need to be heard on the biggest and loudest speakers possible.

Bohemian Rhapsody was never going to please everyone, but it is a heart-warming break from the dismal, sombre and depressing trend of musical films as of late. But for those who wanted more drugs, more sex and more drama just remember as Freddie says; “There’s only room for one hysterical queen”.

Image source: 20th Century Fox

Categories: Arts Music Theatre

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