Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody ★★★★

This production was plagued with issues from the get-go. I know I had my thoughts on what this movie should look and feel like when I first heard of its inception. I honestly avoided it until recently, because I knew from the reviews that it wasn't the film that I wanted...or thought I wanted. Various people around me told me that they enjoyed it for what it was, less a biopic, more of a celebration of the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Opening up to this approach, I allowed myself to build up anticipation.

With this new perspective, I found myself incredibly pleased with the content of the film and the humanizing focus on Freddie. Admittedly, the film I imagined would’ve been what the tabloids focused on. For that, I am ashamed at my short-sightedness. I liked how the film chose not to linger on any one moment, but grazed over some key moments in order to spend more time giving a look into the lonely outcast alongside the flamboyantly proud Freddie. I learned a few things about the history of Queen I did not know, which was nice. I got to see their success journey and felt like I was celebrating with them as they amassed popularity and songwriting achievements. I did not understand the focus on Live Aid coming into the film, but coming out of it I now get its significance in the story of Queen, and so it was a fitting tribute to Freddie and the band while also showcasing what made them such a captivating, winsome force on the stage. I love Queen, and so this film really tickled me pink. Rami Malek made for a magnificent Freddie Mercury, injecting his persona with flair, pathos, and mercurial mystery. I like that not all of the cards were laid out on the table. I left the film with questions unanswered, and I’m okay with that.

My main grievance is the film’s lack of musical chronology, as far as what music they chose to play at what point in the movie. It actually confused me a bit, because where they were at in their rise to fame was prior to whatever song it had them showcasing in a live format. However, I get why they did that because those early songs are generally lesser-known, so they wanted to inject this film with the hits that connect with the viewing audience. So, I forgive them.

Similarly, I also forgive this film for its rapid pacing, which resulted in the skimming over of so much history as well as candid looks at the other band members. Just as Freddie said to his band after revealing to them that he has AIDS, he didn’t want them to cry and dwell on the bad, but squeeze as much life out of the remaining time as they could. This film carries on in that spirit by choosing not to dwell on all of the heartache and sensationalism.

And that’s just it: This is not a biopic of Freddie or Queen. The film is titled, Bohemian Rhapsody, which is their most impressive composition and arguably most significant song. The song, Bohemian Rhapsody, can play like the career of Queen and stand in place as its legacy. The film, Bohemian Rhapsody, succeeded as a celebration of Queen’s legacy and as a window into the charisma and restlessness of Freddie. This isn't a funeral, it's a celebration of life! It hits the key high and low notes, it pumps the tunes in surround, and immerses you in Queen mania. Bohemian Rhapsody gave me a vibrant and spirited experience of Queen, and it was a tonne of fun! For this I say, God Save The Queen!