Bohemian Rhapsody Will Rock You

Rami+Malek+%28center%29+portrays+Freddie+Mercury+in+the+rock+biopic+%22Bohemian+Rhapsody.%22
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Bohemian Rhapsody Will Rock You

Rami Malek (center) portrays Freddie Mercury in the rock biopic

Rami Malek (center) portrays Freddie Mercury in the rock biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Photo courtesy of foxmovies.com

Rami Malek (center) portrays Freddie Mercury in the rock biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Photo courtesy of foxmovies.com

Photo courtesy of foxmovies.com

Rami Malek (center) portrays Freddie Mercury in the rock biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody."

By Aly Sadowniczak, Staff Writer

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” was brilliant and electrifying: but was it factual and could it have been more?

The biopic tells the tale of the English band Queen, whose popularity goes from an unknown college band to playing stadiums for hundreds of thousands of people that know the words to all of their songs. It shows the pros and cons of fame and how it affected all of the band members. Queen was faced with people leeching off of them and they argued plenty about who got paid for which songs.

Because the film is a Hollywood biopic, the writers had to dramatize some aspects of the story for plot and entertainment purposes. I think they did this relatively well, like how Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek) tells his fellow bandmates he has AIDS before the 1985 Live Aid concert, when in reality he wasn’t diagnosed until 1987. It is speculated, however, that for a while he did know he had AIDS, but was in denial and therefore waited for a diagnosis. This creative decision builds up in anticipation for the charity event, letting the audience know the true stakes and emotion that took place in Queen’s most iconic performance.

However, there were some changes that rubbed me the wrong way. Mercury is offered money to quit Queen and make solo albums, making the rest of the band angry and disappointed in him for quitting. This paints him in a bad light: he is seen as the villain for breaking up the band for more money until he realizes his boyfriend, Paul Prenter (played by Allen Leech), is leeching off of Mercury.

In reality, Mercury wasn’t the only one who had released a solo album: Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer, (played by Ben Hardy), had already released two solo albums himself. Although Mercury was a flawed and arrogant person, I think they portrayed that side of him enough in the earlier scenes, and this common “Breaking Up the Band” trope to create a climax is unnecessary, especially when Queen never actually broke up in real life. Instead, they could’ve had the climax be his aforementioned AIDS diagnosis, and gone more in depth on his emotions about the topic.

The film taps out at 2 hours 13 minutes long, compiling over a decade of information into this time frame to make it more enticing to the mass public, and therefore introduces Queen to more people. Unfortunately, this creates an unusually fast paced movie. For me, I would’ve easily watched a five-hour-long version that included more events of their life.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is also rated PG-13, but I think an R rating would’ve done Mercury’s outrageous life more justice and made the film seem more realistic than it already is with it’s spot-on actor portrayal and body language.

Otherwise, the film was excellent, with an accurate representation of Mercury’s bisexuality and providing sufficient detail about the band’s lives without getting too invasive. The recreation of live performances, the most significant being the Live Aid concert that closes the movie, was outstanding. It was lip synced well, and you could tell the actors had spent countless hours studying each members’ movements to perfection.   

To sum the movie up, it shows how Queen’s fame and fortune, and everything that goes with it” was “no pleasure cruise” but they “thank you all” for the incredible journey it has brought them on. And despite “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” flaws, Malek’s performance and embodiment of Freddie Mercury outshines the film’s structural and plot mistakes and makes this movie a must-see.

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