I like Queen. I like their music. However, I don’t know the band’s story, nor the Freddie Mercury’s one. Bohemian Rhapsody was the opportunity to know more about them. But I wonder if Bryan Singer’s biopic is a film about Queen or about the singer Freddie Mercury?
Bryan Singer was not able to finish the movie due to artistic conflicts. It was finished by Dexter Fletcher who directed Eddie the Eagle in 2016 and Rocketman, a biopic on Elton John coming out in the spring of 2019.
The film starts with the break-up of The Smile, the former band of Brian May (the guitarist played by Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (the drummer played by Ben Hardy). It’s the 70´s and Freddie Mercury wants to be a part of the band. From this moment, the movie is a succession of ellipses.
You can see specific moments in this film. It’s like watching a documentary. It emphasizes the creation of some songs like Killer Queen, We Will Rock You or Bohemian Rhapsody that Ray Foster, producer at EMI (played by Mike Myers) refused to broadcast. You may wonder if some scenes are anachronistic or if they really happened.
What is interesting is to see is that Freddie Mercury is not the leader of the band. He has ideas, but each member has written and composed the different songs we know, even if the singer takes the spotlight.
Freddie Mercury was an eccentric character who wore original outfits and had an extraordinary voice. The film shows all his talent, his romantic conflicts, but also the extent of his loneliness. But there’s nothing else. You quickly realize that Freddie Mercury’s life has been fictionalized. His family conflicts, his homosexuality, his drug and alcohol addiction, and his seropositivity are hardly mentioned. It’s as if the production and the living members of the band had decided to avoid showing some events. I think they wanted to focus on the artist rather than the man.
You smile, you are moved, you rebel in this film. Rami Malek has brought Freddie Mercury back to life. He doesn’t sing or play the piano, but it’s not a problem.
The strength of the film is obviously the music. It was also the least complicated part to achieve. Queen’s music is legendary and you enjoy hearing it.
The best part of the film is undoubtedly the last fifteen minutes, which is the performance at the Live Aid 1985 in Wembley, London. The immersive shots give you the impression of being on stage with them. It was really intense. This scene was the first to be shot and was performed at the Wembley Stadium where the 1985 concert took place. But the public added with CGI was really badly made.
Bohemian Rhapsody is actually a biopic about Freddie Mercury as a member of Queen. If you don’t know the story of the band or Freddie Mercury, you will enjoy the film. If you are a true fan, you will probably find some inconsistencies .