By Jane Bowden
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust” — these are just a few songs that transform even the shyest of people into full blown stage performers.
But what is even more iconic than the songs? Queen — one of the best bands of all time.
Director Bryan Singer presents audiences with an authentic and thrilling inside view of the rise of Queen and the life of its lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, in the biographical film, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The film begins with Mercury (Rami Malek) as a baggage handler at Heathrow International Airport. He then meets with Smile band (a London-based rock band considered to be a predecessor to Queen) members Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), who are in need of a singer. After the trio join together and pick up bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), the group’s one-of-a-kind songs and onstage presence, largely led by Mercury, catapults Queen to fame.
The rest of “Bohemian Rhapsody” features iconic moments throughout Queen’s career, such as writing and recording the 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” and performing at Live Aid in 1985, which is often dubbed as the best live concert of all time.
The movie also highlights Mercury’s personal life by delving into his romantic relationship with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), his sexuality and his terminal battle with AIDS. However, “Bohemian Rhapsody” mainly focuses on Mercury’s creative genius and flamboyance behind writing and performing each of Queen’s hits.
The best aspect of the movie is Malek’s performance as Mercury. Rocking the singer’s famous buck teeth, Malek’s transformation from his role in USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” to Mercury is truly outstanding. From his passionate and inventive personality to his energetic performances, Malek honors Mercury’s legacy with his ability to portray each side of the singer. Many times throughout the film, it is even difficult to distinguish the actor from Mercury himself.
What makes “Bohemian Rhapsody” worth seeing in theaters is Singer’s ability to capture the vivacity behind Queen’s concerts. His filmwork makes it feel like you are watching the band perform live. Between Mercury’s dazzling costumes, multicolored lights and up-close camera angles, each scene where the band performs in front of a crowd engulfs you in the world of rock and roll.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” rocks audience members from their cushioned seats into Queen’s world of experimentive and rule-defying music.