2018 Rated PG-13
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping, fist pumping, high pitched screaming celebration of the remarkable band Queen. It celebrates the meteoric rise of the iconic band, it’s music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. It is directed by Bryan Singer. It stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury with Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aiden Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Mike Myers in supporting roles.
In 1970, Farrokh Bulsara, an Indian-British Parsi college student goes to watch a local band named “Smile” at a nightclub in London. After the show he meets guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and offers to replace their singer that just quit that night. They add bassist John Deacon and the rest is Rock and Roll history. Queen has been born.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is the telling of Queens history leading upto the legendary Live Aid performance in 1985. The four young band members sell their van to produce their debut album. Farrokh changes his name to Freddie Mercury and the band in on their way to greatness. They sign with Ray Foster of EMI and become one of the biggest bands in the world. In 1975, Queen releases its fourth album, “A Night at the Opera.” They leave EMI after Foster refuses to release the six minute song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Freddie convinces his band mates that his vision for an Operatic song is right for the band at that time. The band agrees with their lead singer and it becomes a smash hit.
Freddie begins a relationship with the band’s manager Paul Prenter. This relationship is the “Yoko Ono” that begins to fracture the band. The self-promoting Prenter begins to poison the mind of Mercury and influence him negatively. The bands success continues throughout the early 80’s until rumors of Mercury’s sexual orientation begin to surface, as well as Freddie signing a $4 million solo deal with CBS records (an unbelievable deal for that time.). Lavish parties and massive drug use poison Freddie’s relationship with his Queen bandmates and in 1984 Mercury releases his solo album “Mr. Bad Guy.” After his longtime friend and ex-wife Mary Austin comes to talk to Freddie about his destructive behavior, Freddie begins to see the light. He learns that his boyfriend Prenter has withheld information regarding his career and an invitation to the “Live Aid” concert. He breaks up with the destructive Prenter and begs forgiveness from his Queen brothers. They welcome him back and they are able to solidify a last second spot in the Revolutionary “LiveAid” Concert of 1985.
Before the concert, Freddie Mercury announces that his lavish lifestyle has caught up with him, as he has been diagnosed with AIDS. Queens performance at the “Live Aid” event was legendary. After Freddie’s death in 1991, Queen created the “Mercury Phoenix Trust” to help combat AIDS worldwide.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a stand up and shout success. Rami Malek will win the Academy Award this year of his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. To think that they had Borat (Sasha Barn Cohen) in the lead role initially is a travesty. Not only do we learn the trials and tribulations of the iconic band Queen, but the people and places that are left in the wake of its success. Queen is one of the greatest bands of all time, and widely considered the Greatest Live Band of all time. Freddie Mercury was a trailblazer in the art of music. He invented the “Arena Rock” genre and his songs are still sung today. They include “We Are the Champions,” and “We Will Rock You.”
Mercury stated “I want to give the audience something to stomp their feet and clap their handsto.” Who can forget the Wayne’s World Gremlin Car Ride rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody?” (Mike Myers is great as Producer Ray Foster and is an homage to the Wayne’s World scene). I know every word by heart, and it is a Karaoke favorite of mine. We also see in this film the negative influences and situations that all great Bands have to deal with. Jealousy, Drugs, significant others, Money and ultimately dealing with fame itself are some of the things that this Iconic band overcame to be one of the All-Time Greats. Freddie Mercury will go down as a Rock andRoll Pioneer and Queen songs will forever live in infamy as long as sports are played in this world. If that isn’t the definition of G.O.A.T then I don’t know what is.
I give this film a rousing 3.5 out of 4 stars and is for adult audiences only.