Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

What does it take to be a great singer at the level of someone like Freddy Mercury? Its much more than just being able to sing, remember so may lyrics and having a voice that can last over a 2 hour concert. Being one of the best of all time takes the unique ability to stand up in front of one hundred thousand people and never get intimidated by the fact that so many thousands of people are hanging on every word you sing and all of them are looking just at you. With someone like Freddy Mercury, being able to do something this extraordinary was something he could do like a charging bull, not caring what anybody thinks good or bad. While performing in front of so many people – Mercury reached a thrilling level of hyper-awareness that very few human beings will ever get to experience. The problem with experiencing something this amazing is that everything else in life pales so much in comparison. So many uniquely talented people like this try desperately to get back to the highs of performing by using drugs and some of the other behaviors that eventually gave Mercury AIDS that eventually killed him in 1991 at the age of only 45. Contrary to popular belief Freddie Mercury was not gay, he was bisexual and the most important relationship in his life was with a woman who he married.

Mercury was of Indian descent and had an abnormal overbite caused by something called supernumerary incisors. His career in music came from out of nowhere after following a local band who needed a new lead singer. From there, the story covers their slow and brilliant rise to huge success through their unique ideas that included even combining opera with rock music. One of their biggest hits “Bohemian Rhapsody” was six minutes long, unheard of for any song that was ever played on the radio at that time. Their band that they eventually named Queen was also designed to be unique and shocking along with much of their music.

The new movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a movie mostly about Freddie Mercury and his fellow musicians in the band Queen and includes both the good parts and some of the bad parts of this career. At times this movie ran slow and boring and I thought that they should have shown more of the art of the music creation and performances and of the insane personal life Mercury pursued, eventually causing him to contract the AIDS virus. The reviews of this film on Rotten Tomatoes are a very anemic 59% and I would have given it more of an 80% rating mainly because of the great performance of Rami Malek – who must receive an Academy Award nomination for his performance regardless of any bad reviews for this movie, which I agree is not great but a just very good. Malek’s performance is one of the few times I have ever seen an actor actually become the person he is playing and this includes being able to sing like Mercury, which must have taken a great deal of hard work and training. You cannot help but admire this level of dedication to the craft of acting.

I was expecting that this movie would be a shoe in to be one of the 10 nominated movies for best picture this year, but due to the relatively low reviews, maybe it will not make the cut. Considering all the hard work, hiring so many extras and solid story this shows once again how fickle and unpredictable critics are and how difficult it is to make any movie.

I give Bohemian Rhapsody a solid recommendation – in this case the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are wrong and the opinions of IMDB giving the movie a rating of 84% are correct. This movie should be seen by everyone regardless if you are a fan of Queen or Freddie Mercury.