Film Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

Alex Bailey

Rami Malek preforming as Freddie Mercury. Photo by Alex Bailey at Twentieth Century Fox.

Annie Evans, Managing Editor

In November of 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic on Freddie Mercury was released. It was directed by Bryan Singer, and the movie follows Queen’s journey as a band, but is specifically honed in on Freddie Mercury’s life. Rami Malek was selected by casting directors as well as Queen members, Brian May and Roger Taylor.

The film follows topics from Mercury’s family life, such as how he was treated as an individual before and during Queen, his history with Mary Austin, among other love interests, and his personal health. An inside look that many fans and admirers of Mercury were yearning for was given. For a new generation that was never given an opportunity to know who Mercury was, the film brought back an appreciation for the singer, as well as Queen, that has possibly been fading over time.

While watching the movie, I was completely sucked into the fast pacedadventure of the beginning of Queen. Malek gave a phenomenal performance that took Mercury from an insecure, unsatisfied airport worker, to the proud, shameless singer that Mercury became through the band. Watching band members create classic hits that we all know made me feel like I was with them. Seeing the inside view of Mercury, along with Malek’s acting skills, created the feeling that I was friends with Mercury and that I genuinely knew him. By the end of the movie, which included the reenactment of the full set of the band’s famous performance at Live Aid, I was sobbing. I was so upset that this wonderful person I had been introduced to and gotten to know was dead. Being a person who values music, seeing how Mercury was affected by it and how he channeled his love and self expression through it, I was beyond upset that he is no longer here to create. His legacy was renewed through the film. Rami Malek receives a lot of the credit for that. The entire point of the film was to create the connection that I gained for new and old fans alike. The goal was accomplished, which is evident by the film’s success.  

The film received twelve national awards. Malek received the  Best Actor award at the 91st Academy Awards, which is only one of the six total “best actor” awards he received. The film won three awards for best sound editing. While Malek’s speaking voice for Mercury was his own, his singing voice was mixed with another to create a near-identical replication of Mercury’s. The editing work did not go unnoticed nor did the film as a whole. The film won best feature from the Golden Globes and in Japan, best film in a foreign language. The film is a refreshing peek into the life of both Queen and Mercury and deserved all of the recognition it received.