I originally didn’t think I was going to review Bohemian Rhapsody but once I saw it I knew I just had to.
Bohemian Rhapsody tells of the life of Freddie Mercury, formerly known as Farrokh Bulsara, and the rise of Queen.
The film followed a simple straight-forward narrative so Queen fan or not it’s easy to follow, although some hard core fans were not happy with little errors that were made – especially given that Brian May and Roger Taylor were creative consultants for the film. One Youtube comment pointed out minute errors such as Freddie not taking up smoking as early in the film, and that he donned a mustache much later. Rolling Stone went further by pointing out that Freddie joining the band and meeting Mary wasn’t as simple as the film portrayed, nor did he know he was HIV-positive before Live Aid. Of course, a two-hour Hollywood film can’t show everything and will bend the truth in the name of entertainment. Joan Jett and Cherie Currie were heavily involved in The Runaways movie and acknowledged that some things it showed weren’t true, but weren’t mad about it either. It’s important to remember that unlike Montage of Heck this is a film, not a documentary (I’m probably never gonna watch Soaked in Bleach but that’s a conversation for another time).
Even with the inaccuracies, the music was always bound to be phenomenal. I’ve always believed that no one is every going to match Freddie Mercury for stage presence, charisma, or talent, and still maintain that. When I first watched Adam Lambert step in as front-man I was disappointed, but he’s since grown on me, I even think Bohemian Rhapsody is a song no one should dare touch, but Rami Malek deserves a round of applause for his performance.
I’m also relieved they didn’t try skim over Freddie’s sexuality, or ignore it completely.
Personally, I’m happy they devoted so much time to Live Aid. Malek imitated the performance perfectly, they also could not have cast better people to play the rest of the band. Everyone says that Queen stole the show, and although I have a soft spot for David Bowie’s set, they were incredible. To this day, Live Aid is still possibly the greatest musical event in history, and helped solidify Queen’s place as legends. It was also the perfect note to end the film on.
I did think it would show more of who Freddie was and his personal life, but it’s really just Queen’s story from Freddie’s perspective. I’m sure there’s plenty of biographies out there to really delve into Freddie’s life.
Overall it was a solid movie, don’t go in expecting a history lesson on Queen or to see Freddie’s clone. For a band that took risks, the film didn’t take any but it’s not lacking because of that. I thought it was wonderful, but if you’re a lot more critical than I am, at least you get to listen to good music.