More than just a killer Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody serves as a tribute to the British band’s four members – Freddie Mercury (Malek), Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) – and their phenomenal musical legacy.
Like all good rock biopics, it details Queen’s rise to fame, their fights and their epic successes. The film focuses less on the sex and drugs, and more on the rock’n’roll by merely alluding to Freddie Mercury’s debaucheries rather than graphically displaying them.
Instead, we see the story of a man who was a supernova in public, but incredibly lonely in private.
Malek’s portrayal of Mercury is nothing short of sensational. At times he is so convincing – despite those false teeth! – that the film feels more like a documentary than a re-creation. Easily the highlight of the movie, Malek’s performance deserves all the hype it is already generating.
Just as impressive is the use of Queen’s music, from the hits that will be stuck in your head long after you leave the cinema to the quartet’s legendary Live Aid set
at Wembley Stadium in 1985, which is depicted almost in its entirety (with the original recordings available for the first time on the accompanying soundtrack)