This was my most anticipated movie of the fall. While Green Day may be my favorite, I think Queen may be the greatest band of all time. Freddie Mercury is an unmatched legend. But wait, Rami Malek is playing him? Rami Malek, whom I love and adore on Mr Robot, one of my current biggest crushes, is playing one of the greatest sex gods that ever lived? Yes please!
The film follows Queen, from when Freddie joined the failing college band to their legendary performance at Live Aid. And yes, I mean the film follows the band. There is a big focus on Freddie, but the emphasis is on the group as a whole. We see them assemble their hits and we see their career ebb and flow. I was captivated through all of it.
This band has some of the greatest songs ever written. Each of them are perfectly placed in the film in a way that serves the story and gives context to the lyrics that elevate these masterpieces even more. Songs that I’ve heard hundreds of times had new meaning, and it was so effective.
But the true magic of the film was Rami Malek. He fully embodied Freddie Mercury, a seemingly impossible feat. Throughout the film, especially when he was on stage, I saw Freddie on that screen. Watching him, I started bawling really hard when I realized the weight of Freddie’s loss in this world. Like really full on sobbing. Again, everything just culminated to a beautiful finale, the song lyrics fit perfectly, the emotion he was selling on screen was on point, and I lost it.
I also laughed really hard watching this. And I had a lot of fun. This film was everything I wanted and more, but not everyone agrees, and I get it. I think the main point of critcism comes from the fact that this is a film about the band, and it’s not Freddie’s biopic. Would it have been more powerful if it was? Sure, and maybe we’ll get that film one day. But as Queen’s story, I thought this worked really well, showcasing the connection that made their musical family special.
The other criticism I’m hearing is that it’s very by the books band biopic. Sure, I’ll give it that it has a Behind the Music paint by numbers throughline to it, but what films don’t follow a formula. What makes a film special is the way you dress it up, and what better way to dress it up than with the music of Queen and the flair of Freddie Mercury?
Look, all I know is that as I sat in the front row of that Dolby auditorium (with the bass pumping in my seat), I had the best time. In the days following, I’ve been obsessing with trying to find time in my schedule to see it again. I need to see this on the big screen several more times, because I truly madly deeply loved this film.
Bohemian Rhapsody – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/