Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Now don’t deny that you haven’t just sung these lines. Bohemian Rhapsody – song of ages – now takes over all cinemas around the world. The movie tells the story of the iconic band of the 80s and makes its tragic end more approachable, while leaving the best of us with some tears shed. The biographical drama lets you discover Freddie Mercury’s rough journey through life: the exploration of his sexuality, his addiction to drugs and excessive partying, the revelation of his condition – all whilst nourishing the motion picture with Queen’s greatest hits. There is a high chance of you leaving the movie theatre speechless, without knowing where that came from, what part of this masterpiece can be blamed. Well, it‘s the mixture of it all, so let me break it down for you.
I want to break free – Directing. Throughout the movie even an untrained eye, a person who is not all too familiar with the art of moviemaking will be able to discover many great, unusual and what one would think very 2018 kinds of shots. Let me give you an example: during the last performance, the LiveAid event (where Queen totally stole the show) Freddie is captured through his reflection in the black background of his piano. Furthermore, when he looks towards the crowd in Wembley stadium, you can see them cheering in his pupils. Or as he is getting his diagnosis – his reaction is shot through the reflection in his sunglasses. A creative choice, which is not only well thought out, but also makes the movie so much more interesting and and hard to look away from.
Under pressure – Concept. Now, Queen does not only consist of its iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury. Many voices have become loud, that the background stories of Brian, Roger and John haven’t really been explored as much as they could have been. Although I agree to a certain point, I have to say that I don’t mind. These characters may not say much, but the way they say things, how they act and react to certain situations makes these characters just as valuable as Freddie. Moreover, the movie is framed by the band’s performance at LiveAid which was in July, 1985. Not every detail in the movie replicates the exact truth, e.g. Freddie announces his condition right before the concert in the movie, but would only find out about it years later in real life. Another creative choice was to keep the forming of the band quite short and ongoing in order to focus more on the band’s golden years. Then again, the movie isn’t solely based on how the band created songs. It aims to tells Freddie’s story, not only focusing on his very public drug abuse and sexlife, but to do his incredible talent and very human emotions justice. This has been achieved not only through an incredible performance by Rami Malek, but also by band members Roger Taylor and Brian May co-directing the movie. Yes, the movie is PG-8 or something, but why tell the world twice? Why should such a movie show sex scenes and drug abuse in its raw form, when it could show a more vulnerable side of Freddie’s life? The audience should get an insight into his life, not a reminder of what they saw years ago.
Don’t stop me now – Acting. Where should I start. The fake teeth, the long hair or the famous ’stache, the accent and, not to forget, the walk and dance moves – Malek did it all. He stated in several interviews, that once you become Freddie, once you have traveled back to the 80’s – it’s hard to go back. He even pulled off a sequin leotard with such confidence, that the audience actually enjoyed it. There is so many things to say about his performance, which I hope will be summed up by a nomination for best actor at next year’s Academy Awards (where I also think, the movie itself will get a nomination and maybe even win…). Furthermore, not only Freddie’s role has been a perfect match: even the real Brian May and Roger Taylor stated, that while watching several scenes they could recognise themselves. This could be a result of their close mentoring. And let’s be honest for a second Ben Hardy as a young Roger is a perfect fit for every girls eye…
Well, if by now you haven’t felt the urge to go and see the movie for yourself, I believe that I can’t help you. Just go watch it – if not for the movie, then for the music.