Bohemian Rhapsody Review (Spoilers)

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

This movie was fantastic! It contains the perfect balance between the music we all love, the band who came up from the bottom, and the many obstacles they faced to get to the top. The plot focuses on the progression of the band and stays within chronological order.

The scrip focuses the point of view on Freddie Mercury  It shows that while he may not have come from a ‘well-liked’ background at the time, and while he didn’t have a ‘perfect’ appearance, he was still able to make an impact on people like many others could not. His family was from Pakistan and his four extra incisors made him a highly unlikely candidate for being a rock star, especially in the 70s and 80s when the band really took flight. This fact is well addressed in the movie when Freddie, portrayed by Rami Malek, first attempted to get into the band. During this time, the band was known as Smile, which was their original name as the drummer, Roger Taylor,  was a dentist at the time. The band initially turned Freddie aways as they felt his strange teeth would cause him to be unable to sing to their standards. Boy were they wrong!

Once the group figured out that Freddie could actually sing, the string of troubles the well-known lead singer would face began. During the first show with Freddie portrayed in the movie, it is audible that while the band is singing, that there are members in the audience who are opposed to the fact that Freddie is from a different ethnicity.

At this point, the movie’s timeline begins to jump ahead. The time skips made it very clear how long it really took the band to actually make their break from the rest of the groups around them. Once the band goes on to create their first album, the troubles just keep running in. With the creation of Bohemian Rhapsody, the title of the film and one of the most famous Queen songs, the publisher that had instructed the album to be made was not pleased due to the length and word choice of the song itself. This is when Queen choose to go ‘independent’ until they could find a better publishing company.

While on this hunt for another publisher, Freddie got tangled up with a man by the name of Paul Prenter. Paul was a destructive force in Freddie’s life and the band became distant and suffered because of their relationship. After several years, the man, Paul Prenter, convinced the manager of the band to showcase Freddie as a solo act.  This ends up getting the manager fired and seems to be the final straw within the band. Freddie goes off with Paul to create his single album. However, during this time, Freddie begins to turn to the ‘partying’ lifestyle and ends up contracting AIDS through his promiscuous lifestyle.

While Freddie is away with Paul, the band’s manager and Mary Austin, Freddie’s ex-wife, are constantly attempting to contact the rock star. During this break in the band, Queen was offered a spot to play at Live Aid , however, they needed their lead singer.  If Mary had not traveled to where Freddie was with Paul, Freddie would have been left in the dark about the whole event. Paul had not been telling Freddie of the attempts to contact him, nor the event.

Once Freddie became aware of the invitation to play at Live Aid, a televised charity event for the starving children in Africa, he rushed to contact the band and their manager in order to meet with the band. Here he asked for forgiveness. Though that request was met with blank faces and the realization that the forgiveness was going to take time. The only issue was that Freddie did not have the time it was going to take. It took some time, but the band pulled it off and did so in an unforgettable way. Freddie went on to live until 1991 when he passed from his illness.

From beginning to end, the movie takes into consideration Freddie’s sexual orientation and his ethnicity and how it affected Queen’s rise to the top. As shown in the interview that was portrayed in the film, the reporters seemed to care more about his controversial personality, than about what the band was actually working on. Freddie was an openly gay male, which during his time period was not looked upon as a ‘normal’ thing. From the time that he came back to the band, to the time that he met his untimely end, he spent his private life with his partner, Jim Hutton.

I highly recommend this movie as it does an accurate job portraying Queen and the issues the band had. Freddie faced both racism and harassment for his lifestyle. Through it all the band was still able to succeed and they are highly respected. It is a tragedy that Freddie is not here to see how important he has been to other musciaians.

For Queen’s full performance at the Live Aid concert click here.