This isn’t just another biopic. This is a reintroduction of one of the greatest bands of all time to a new generation. In Bohemian Rhapsody, actor Rami Malek (most commonly known as the lead role in the TV series Mr. Robot), brings Freddie Mercury back to life to tell the story of how the band Queen rose to fame. While Malek had some big shoes (and teeth) to fill, I feel like there were more times during the film that I thought he became Freddie Mercury. In many interviews leading up to the release, Malek is constantly asked about the prosthetic teeth used in the filming. They can be a bit distracting to those who are not familiar with who Freddie Mercury is, but they are a big part of who he was and how he was able to reach the vocal ranges that made it possible to sing the way he did. Once you get past the buck teeth, the story of Queen is crammed in a little over two hours and it was a great reminder and refresher to those who are fans of the band. For those who don’t know the story behind Queen and Freddie Mercury’s tumultuous rise to fame, this is a great crash course that will give a new appreciation for these rock legends.
Bohemian Rhapsody does seem a bit rushed at times, but I imagine that it was difficult to pick and choose from all of the highs and lows in the 20+ year career that made Queen who they are. There is a very funny moment where a record company executive, played by Mike Myers, turns down a deal with Queen because the titular song would have not been accepted by listeners and nobody would want to “bang their heads” to the 6 minute rock opera in their cars. The funny part being that Mike Myers did that very thing in the movie Wayne’s World. In an interview, Mike Myers said that he took the role as the executive solely based on the premise that he would be the one turning Queen down, he didn’t even need to read the script to agree to be in the movie. Little known fact, Mike Myers almost didn’t do Wayne’s World because the original song they wanted to use in that famous “carpool karaoke” scene was Guns N Roses’ Paradise City. Obviously, Mike Myers won that battle and it turned out to be one of the most iconic scenes in movie history.
Queen has left a lasting impression on anyone who has listened to their music, and Bohemian Rhapsody brought back a whole new appreciation. Not just for Freddie Mercury, but for the band and their music. I highly recommend this movie!