The BRWC Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

The BRWC Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

A biopic that is 10 years in the making, Bohemian Rhapsody is absolutely buzzing with excitement and oozing chemistry. This biopic of Queen, the beyond-legendary rock band, shows the start of their story, with emphasis of the incomparable Freddie Mercury. A musical ride and an emotional, moving tale, bookended by what is considered the greatest rock concert of all-time – The Live Aid 1985 show.

Freddie Mercury is brilliantly portrayed by Rami Malek (Mr. Robot). There is no doubt he carries this movie, when it flits between deep and personal biopic moments in to his life, and highlights of the journey of Queen. Joseph Mazello, Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee play bassist John Deacon, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May, respectively. Malek encapsulates Mercury, showing a deeply troubled and sometimes lonely man, only at home on stage, “singing to all the other misfits”. The musical moments of the band practising, rehearsing and recording are the highlights of the film. They exude fun, chemistry and risk-taking musicians, proving why Queen was almost mysterious in its composition – nobody knew exactly what Queen was, something the outsiders of the world identified with and was moved by. 

Mercury’s life was certainly as trying as it was colourful, and this movie shows some formative moments of his life. His bravado fuelled first meeting with Taylor and May lay the foundation for their collaborative relationship, and intimate scenes with his family show the troubles he encountered as a Parsi immigrant, with parental wishes to live up to. Everything in between is pure fun and magic. For a two-hour movie, there is barely a dull moment – if there was I struggle to remember it. 

The production team certainly gave the music of Queen it’s due – the concerts, particularly the Live Aid concert (which is basically their entire actual set and is the finale act of the movie) have such incredible sound and atmosphere. The camerawork in these moments are wonderful – drawing you in close when there’s thousands of people in the shot. That’s the crux of the movie – with so many people knowing Queen, and Freddy Mercury being so famous, being drawn in right next to them has a lasting effect that will stay with the viewer. This deep, intimate glimpse in to the heart of the greatest live performer of all-time will captivate the imagination and be music to your eyes. 

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Lauren Turner is an Australian media specialist and keen cinephile. She loves Robert Eggers and can be found at her local offbeat cinema in Melbourne.


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