I was first introduced to the music of Queen while watching the 1980 film Flash Gordon. I know I loved the theme song to the movie, but I didn’t know who Queen was, yet.
Fast forward to 1987 and I spent most of the summer watching the original Highlander movie on HBO. Queen once again came into my life with Who Wants to Live Forever and Princes of the Universe, which are still two of my all-time favorite songs.
Once Wayne’s World hit the scene and Bohemian Rhapsody became a hit for a second time I was a fan. This is before the internet, so I had to do some digging to find the albums with the songs I wanted. My first Queen album was It’s A Kind of Magic of which the second side (back in the days of cassette tapes) was the soundtrack to Highlander. I can still listen to this album over and over. Over the years I collected more of their music and often lamented that I became a real fan after Freddy Mercury died.
When I heard they were making a Freddy Mercury bio-pic I was immediately interested. For no other reason than for the music I knew I was going to see this movie, which I did yesterday.
Bohemian Rhapsody covers the time when Freddie Mercury joined Brain May and Roger Taylor, who had just lost their lead singer and bass player, through their appearance in Live Aid, arguably the best concert ever performed. Bassists John Deacon joined later, just before recording their first album.
Rami Malek did not just play Freddy Mercury, he BECAME Freddy. This is one of the few movies that I have ever scene that I left think “Wow! That portrayal deserves an Oscar.” In this case I believe it is true. Malek embraced everything about Mercury. From Freddie’s struggles with sexuality to his over the top performances, Malek personified the rock icon.
The costumes very superb. They nailed the style of Queen and especially Freddie. Attention to detail was spot on with the costumes. It felt like I was back in the 70s and 80s.
The music was of course a highlight of the film. I would have liked to see more of the process of making their music. Some of the best scenes of the movie are when they are recording. During the Live Aid concert scenes it was hard not to sing along.
I know this is a Hollywood film, which means that I know they stretched the truth with a lot of what happened. That being said, it is still an enjoyable film. It shows the highlights of the legend that is Freddie Mercury. Solid film. 5 stars.