Bohemian Rhapsody Review - the Queen biopic everyone has been waiting to see

Will it bite the dust or rock you?

'Bohemian Rhapsody', the film which has already hit theatres around the world, tells the story of the legendary rock band, Queen, focusing particularly on lead singer Freddie Mercury. Spanning the band’s incredible domination of the music industry, from its formation to the iconic Live Aid performance, the movie aims to give a sense of the heat, passion, darkness and raw energy that has made Queen the legend it is today.

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury along with Gwilym Lee as Brian May (the lead guitarist), Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor (the drummer) and Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon (the bassist). Malek’s performance acts as one of redeeming parts of the film. Although he does seem to struggle a little with the prosthetic teeth, (talking as if they will fall out at any moment), he skillfully executes the challenging role of the extraordinary and flamboyant Freddie Mercury, with an accurate portrayal of his mannerisms, humour and energy. However, the rest of the band is mundanely forgettable, apparently only there to provide comic relief in the more depressing moments of the film. The motto that Queen is ‘’like a family to each other’’, (one of the plotlines the film follows), is hard to understand as a viewer because the film fails to provide any sense of relationship or chemistry between the band members and Mercury. Additionally, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is largely historically inaccurate, inventing somewhat sensationalist plots, such as the band splitting up and a reunion at Live Aid. For a biographical film, this was rather disappointing.

The script is also lacking in some areas. It handled Mercury’s AIDS diagnosis and treatment carefully, if not rather briefly, but was at times cringey, to say the least. Pivotal moments of Mercury’s life were too embarrassing to pay full attention to, as the script sounded either pretentious or awkward. Additionally, despite spending the majority of screen time focusing on Freddie Mercury’s problems, they are all miraculously solved by the time he gets to Wembley Arena and then completely forgotten about, making for a slightly unsatisfying ending.

However, this is all made up for by the Live Aid concert. It brilliantly captures a crucial part of rock history and Queen’s career, in such a mesmerizing way that we are able to forget the rest of the movie. Malek’s on-stage performance is incredibly accurate as he nails one of the most iconic live performances of Freddie Mercury’s career.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' is thoroughly entertaining at times, boring at others and full of the ragged energy that is only expected of Queen, but none of that makes it a particularly good film. Except for the undeniably amazing soundtrack and Rami Malek’s solid performance, the film is largely forgettable and full of clichés that somewhat dampen the incredible story of Freddie Mercury.

Ashvini V