There is nothing quite like the pressure put on a movie to accurately portray the life of a complicated yet beloved celebrity, especially one who is no longer with us. Bohemian Rhapsody did it flawlessly.
Portraying the true story of singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury and the rock band Queen, the movie begins in 1970 with the band’s formation and progresses through its history up to their famous performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
Every single detail of this movie was intricately woven together to produce a thought-provoking, emotional, and beautiful show. I am convinced that there was no object added in haphazardly and no word spoken merely to fill silence. Every sigh,
every expression, every color is strategically placed to create meaning.
The images alone are stunning. The director played with reflections and angles to create gorgeous shots worthy of awards. clearly defining a variety of tones through the positioning of characters and objects in certain scenes, presenting implications in a way that words are unable to.
Speaking of details, the resemblance between the movie’s main cast and their real-life equivalents is near eerie. All four of the band members look shockingly like the originals, especially Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury, considering Mercury’s unique features (to be fair, Malek did use false teeth).
Aside from appearance, the actors did an incredible job portraying their characters. In most movies, characters are fictional, and actors can put their own spin on things, but in this case, they needed to maintain accuracy to real life, which, to my knowledge of the band, they did an amazing job with. With actual band members Brian May and Roger Taylor on set, I have confidence that the audience has gotten an authentic glimpse into the true story of what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest bands of all time.
Movies about true history can’t be completely accurate, however. Some events were placed out of order to accommodate an ideal concept of the plot, and some scenes were fibbed due to lack of knowledge of how they officially played out. It is impossible to flawlessly recreate real events, but Bohemian Rhapsody molds together truth and dramatic elements in a way that makes the viewer want to believe everything the movie tells them. Whether that’s good or bad may be up for debate.
In terms of real events, some are literally in the movie. Actual footage of Queen live performances is included in some scenes, giving a clear comparison that blurs the lines between reality and recreation in a startling way. Original music is also blended with new audio, providing a strong connection between the past and present that really immerses the viewer into the film.
The story itself is interesting, real or otherwise, and possesses all elements that a work of fiction may utilize to create an engaging film. The viewer is meant to become attached to the characters but also recognize their flaws. There is never a dull moment in the plot, nothing unnecessary, and nothing left out. And, of course, any good movie nowadays needs humor, which this one has no lack of. This is no boring documentary; it’s a memorable story that will leave you in awe. Its realism makes it meaningful and its dramaticism makes it entertaining.
Speaking as a long-time Queen super-fan, my expectations for Bohemian Rhapsody have been surpassed. As the end credits rolled, I was utterly speechless. All I wanted to do was go home, download every single Queen song ever, and write this review. I haven’t been this satisfied with a movie’s execution in a long time, and I encourage everyone to see it, whether for the learning experience, the music, or merely the story. It could not have been done better.