Kedan is a seasoned movie buff and pop culture fanatic. He loves the escape of the cinema.
A Visual and Vocal Masterpiece Anchored by Rami Malek
Whether you are old or young, a fan of music or not, everyone knows who Freddie Mercury and Queen are. I was introduced to their music through my parents, who were pop-culture enthusiasts in their time. They helped fact check this article in order to do it justice. Bohemian Rhapsody portrays the formation of the group, struggles to establish a signature sound and how they became pioneers of contemporary rock music. All this leading up to their most iconic performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Flamboyant dancing, powerful performances and all the greatest hits, I give you a look into this instant pop-culture classic.
Malek as Freddie Mercury
Story and Time Period
The opening scene sees Mercury walking out of a stage tunnel onto the stage at the Live Aid concert held in 1985 at Wembley Stadium. Just as he is about to walk on stage, the screen cuts to the past and shows Mercury working at London Heathrow as a bag carrier before the band is even formed. The story then focuses on this moment leading up to the concert. The story shows Mercury struggling against his traditional upbringing and feeling the urge to step out of the mould set before him and pursue his musical career. You could almost say he wanted to...break free. The majority of fans know the already established band and success. Bohemian Rhapsody, however, gives you a look into how the band forms, the writing process for some of the greatest rock anthems ever created and also the struggle Mercury faced with his battle against AIDS. What sets this movie apart is that is it not a static documentary, but an engaging and insightful biopic. A behind the scenes look provided by actors dedicated to paying homage to the real life musicians. "Hey, are you ready for this?"
Casting and Performances
It doesn't matter how great of a singer or actor you are, signing on to portray Freddie Mercury is a large risk and responsibility. One that Rami Malek has managed to successfully pull off, with the signature finesse of the man himself. This ability under the guidance of a visionary director and strong supporting cast has created a biopic that will last for years to come and honour the memory of Freddie Mercury. Now, the name Rami Malek should ring a few bells. His acting career was steadily rising, but a breakthrough came from the critically acclaimed Mr. Robot, which has brought to light his dedication to characters and his ability to become immersed into a role. Let me be the first to say it, Malek is mesmerising.
Critical Reception and Relevance
Given the significance and hype of the movie, the casting process was lengthy and critical. It was only after Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the project that Rami Malek was considered due to his acting prowess and uncanny resemblance to Mercury. It paid off as Malek's performance has received critical acclaim with nominations for best actor for awards such as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Even though the Oscar nominations are not out yet at the time of the writing of this article, there is buzz that he will be included in the Best Actor category. Overall, critics were generally pleased with the final product, citing that Malek's performance is a stand out and paid tribute to Mercury's charm and showmanship. Audiences, however, praised the entire cast and movie as a rock and roll masterclass and a story only few really know. A question that may be asked is if Queen is still relevant today? Spoiler alert, yes. You only have to ask yourself if without them, would we have artists like Sir Elton John, Fleetwood Mac or even Sam Smith and the Arctic Monkeys. Music is timeless and Queen are immortal. You can quote me on that because Queen belongs to all generations.
Malek as Freddie Mercury
The Final Mic Drop
Still not convinced? In that case, I urge you to book your tickets right now and decide. If you are convinced, I still urge you to book your tickets again because that is what I would do because this movie is sensational. For now, I am off, right after I finish singing "Love of My Life" to a cat and shaping my moustache. See what I did there?
© 2018 Kedan Pentia
Raj on December 19, 2018:
A perfect review of a timeless classic. The writer certainly has a good insight of music and a refreshing take on one of the great artists of our time. Will most definitely see the movie.