Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!
As the 91st Academy Awards approach, other award events take place where the films that critics loved the most shine, get nominated for and maybe even win some of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood. Of the movies nominated for this year’s Best Picture Oscar (Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Roma, Green Book, Vice, A Star is Born, The Favourite and Bohemian Rhapsody), it’s difficult to predict which will win. I’d wanted to watch Bohemian Rhapsody ever since the first trailer came out. I got the chance to watch it recently, so here is my review of Bohemian Rhapsody
Directed by Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher, and starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton and Ben Hardy, Bohemian Rhapsody tells the life story of Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury. The film follows his youth and how he joined Queen, and the making of everyone’s favourite Queen hits. We see Freddie Mercury grow and develop throughout the film, defying stereotypes, making and breaking friendships and becoming the man who has become a global cultural icon.
If you’ve been following the 2019 Awards Season, you’ll have seen that Rami Malek has won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA (and more!) and has been nominated for an Oscar. Malek expertly played Freddie Mercury. As an American, I wasn’t expecting too much from his work, but I was so wrong! His performance was brilliantly delivered and Malek honestly deserved to win all the awards he has received so far. He fully immersed himself in the role of Mercury and it certainly paid off. There’s a pretty big chance that Malek will win the Oscar for Best Actor, and he has proved himself more than worthy of it. Only time will tell! Gwilym Lee played Queen’s lead guitarist, Brian May. Lee’s resemblance to a young Brian May was uncanny, and it made the film more enjoyable as it felt more realistic. Lee delivered a fantastic performance and was a perfect fit for the role of Brian May. Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, was played by Ben Hardy. Hardy looked like a young Roger Taylor and he was great for the role. Hardy’s performance was well executed and good for Roger’s character but I felt that he didn’t really convey much emotion. He seemed quite angry and depressed for most of the film, and maybe that’s how Roger Taylor was during his time with Queen, but there could have been more range from his performance. The last member of Queen was John Deacon, who was the bassist. Joseph Mazzello took on the role of Deacon, and he was good for the role. I personally would have liked to have seen more from Deacon’s character, or him having more memorable moments in the film. I can only recall one standout scene of Deacon which was how ‘Another Bites the Dust’ came about. One of the other main characters and Freddie Mercury’s love interests was Mary Austin, played brilliantly by Lucy Boynton. Boynton was well suited to the role and played the character with good range and ability. The chemistry between each character was so fantastically acted out by every actor that it really helped me to enjoy the movie more.
Because the music was all from Queen, I had no issues here. It was so cool to see how it came together, like how ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ came together by John Deacon while Freddie and Roger were in an argument or the way ‘We Will Rock You’ got its foot-stomping beat. As a huge fan of old music, the music in Bohemian Rhapsody was impeccable.
Bohemian Rhapsody was one of those movies where I want to watch it again and again because it was that good. The more I think of it, the better it was. Admittedly, I felt the film was lacking some flow throughout between one scene and another. I also felt that the film was rather uninteresting in places. Truth be told, I eventually found myself just waiting for the next Queen song to come up. One of the things that kept the film together was Rami Malek’s performance of Freddie Mercury which was so incredible that it really made the film so entertaining and better to watch. Another factor that kept the film together well was the character chemistry. It was convincing and gave a good depiction of how Queen’s band members and the people in their lives interacted with each other.
Now for my favourite moments from Bohemian Rhapsody. I loved the opening to this film, and it required no exposition to establish where the story would go. It summed up Freddie’s lifestyle and told the audience that the film would end up at the Live Aid 1985 Concert. I like how the film also wasted little time in showing us how Freddie met Roger and Brian after their lead singer from their previous band, Smile, left them, even if it did fall down the exposition hole. We then see the band make new songs, then clash with either each other or other figures, like Ray Foster. The making of the songs was great fun to watch. The way the film showed how ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was made and how the band fought to have it on the airways was fantastic to see brought to life, and it showed that the hard work had paid off. Another favourite was ‘We Will Rock You’, as it was awesome to see how Brian May thought of it and how one of Queen’s most notorious hits came about. The last song that I enjoyed watching come to life was ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, as it was John Deacon’s idea and his bass that was the skeleton of what was to become another amazing Queen song. The film dies off for a bit when Freddie moves away, but the energy is revived when he returns to London to unite with his bandmates and they prepare for Live Aid 1985. The scene of Freddie admitting that he has AIDS to his band was sweet and touching, but it was the Live Aid performance that was arguably the best scene in the movie. It depicted an iconic performance from Queen, complete with amazing songs and Freddie Mercury’s unforgettable ‘Ay-Oh’ crowd interaction moment. The film ends with ‘Don’t Stop Me’ and a summary of events after Live Aid, with a nod to Freddie Mercury and all the incredible work he contributed to the music industry.
Overall, I really loved Bohemian Rhapsody, and I give it an 8.2/10. It’s not the best movie ever made, but it is really really enjoyable to watch. It doesn’t matter if you love Queen’s music or not, Bohemian Rhapsody will have you singing along throughout and the songs will be stuck in your head for weeks on end. Bohemian Rhapsody is up for 5 Oscars this weekend (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing). It’s currently available for download on the iTunes store and Sky Movies Store, but should be added to some streaming services by the end of the year.
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Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. The Oscars this weekend are shaping up to be a good one, with many stars hosting, the remaining members of Queen performing and loads of brilliant movies and actors and directors having the honour of being nominated and all gunning for Hollywood’s most prestigious award, an Academy Award. Join me next week for a superhero film that is one of my all-time favourites. See you then!