At time of writing Bohemian Rhapsody is an Oscar nominated film. We will know soon how that pans out but it is fair to say that this Queen biopic has faced mixed reviews and somewhat of a backlash. However it has been a huge box office success and when we finally caught up with it at a Vue cinema matinee performance we enjoyed the cinematic experience.
If you are still considering whether or not to watch Bohemian Rhapsody consider a few things:
Bohemian Rhapsody needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
According to reports online there are a few inaccuracies including when Freddie was diagnosed with AIDs particularly in relation to Live Aid.
As the movie starts it is 1985 with Live Aid about to kick off; it then moves back in time to 1970 when Freddie is a student working as an airport baggage handler. Brian May and Roger Taylor are also students but they are part of a band. When their lead singer quits they give Freddie a go and the rest as they say is history.
Along the way Freddie struggles with his sexuality, marrying the love of his life Mary Austin. Mary Austin remained a huge part of Freddie's life through the good and the not so good years. Although she moved on, had children, and married she and Freddy remained close. Their relationship however took a different twist after they both recognized he was not straight.
The band Queen became successful but in true rock band style they were difficult at times.
There are more inaccuracies surrounding an offer for Freddie to record as a solo artist. If you know little of the band Queen these may not matter to you but try not to take Bohemian Rhapsody as fact. It does follow Queen's success, but only up to a point.
There are some great moments during the film and of course there is the music of Queen.
I was curious as to who was the voice of Freddy during the movie. Rami Malek who plays Freddy put in a masterly performance of Freddie's moves and stage persona plus his speaking voice but what about the singing?
When the movie was released in October 2018 NME posted a report revealing Rami Malek is lip syncing but not to Freddie Mercury's voice. The singing voice is a mixed bag with Youtube Queen sensation Marc Matel's voice being predominant. If you fancy buying the soundtrack of the movie that is Queen performances.
YouTube footage of Marc Matel performing Bohemian Rhapsody is show at the end of this review and it is very good. It starts and ends perfectly but loses its was a little during the song. We should never forget Freddie had a very special voice. His character when being taunted by the press about his teeth actually says his extra teeth make for a perfect sound box of a mouth.
The press also hound Freddie about his sexuality and we should never forget it was a time of the new so-called gay disease AIDS. He faced some brutal criticism and verbal attacks.
The film goes full circle ending in 1985 with Live Aid. The band are back together after a break and according to the script Freddie knows he has AIDs and tells his band mates.
The final 20 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody the movie is the 1985 Live Aid performance. The movie characters play in front of scenes from Live Aid at Wembley. My hubby thought you could really tell it was filmed that way, I was not convinced. For me it was seamless.
By this point in the movie Rami Malek is Freddie Mercury. He now has a friend, that is Jim Hutton who becomes Freddie's husband in all but name, staying with him until he dies. Sadly Jim Hutton who also had AID's died on January 1, 2010, but his cause of death was lung cancer.
I would say this is a five-star movie. Forget any preconceptions, ideas about Queen and just who they are, and simply sit back and enjoy the experience.
The movie is in the 12A category at Vue for some strong language, sex scenes and drug references but those are all minimal.
A movie should take you on a journey and Bohemian Rhapsody will take you on the ride of your life if you let it
Main Cast and Characters
Rami Malek ... Freddie Mercury
Lucy Boynton ... Mary Austin
Gwilym Lee ... Brian May
Ben Hardy ... Roger Taylor
Joseph Mazzello ... John Deacon (as Joe Mazzello)
Aidan Gillen ... John Reid
Allen Leech ... Paul Prenter
Tom Hollander ... Jim Beach
Mike Myers ... Ray Foster
Aaron McCusker ... Jim Hutton
Jim Beach ... producer
Robert De Niro ... producer
Dexter Fletcher ... executive producer
Justin Haythe ... executive producer
Richard Hewitt ... co-producer
Graham King ... producer (produced by) (p.g.a.)
Brian May ... executive music producer
Arnon Milchan ... executive producer
Denis O'Sullivan ... executive producer
Jane Rosenthal ... executive producer
Donald Sabourin ... line producer: additional photography
Roger Taylor ... executive music producer
There are lots of Bohemian Rhapsody reports and stories here at the NME online