Written By Wayne Townsend
20th Century Fox’ Bohemian Rhapsody is not a biopic. The historical inaccuracies may lead some viewers not familiar with Freddie Mercury’s career to come away with a distorted vision of who he was. The dramatic license taken here created an easy to follow narrative, as all movies that try to tell a true story must take shortcuts. Two plus hours is impossible to capture the life, career, or legacy of the subject matter and this film is no exception. Now that this disclaimer is out of the way, WOW. Bohemian Rhapsody is an epic film that comes very close to capturing the genius that was Mercury. The performance by Rami Malek as Mercury is Oscar worthy. The casting of the rest of the group is uncannily good, but Malek steals every scene he’s in, with the possible exception when he shares the screen with Lucy Boynton who portrays Mary Austin, the woman who was Mercury’s partner during the early years of the band. Mercury is quoted as saying, “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible. The only friend I’ve got is Mary, and I don’t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.” The scenes between these two were heartwarming, heartbreaking, and provided the emotional depth of the film.
Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May served as consultants and were on set during filming, so it calls into question why the inaccuracies were so egregious. What this movie is, is a fantastic recounting of a rock band that pushed musical boundaries and refused to be confined in a single gene box. The process of creating signature songs Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You is captured and makes the viewer understand why these songs are anthems, and why they still resonate today. I felt like I was hearing them for the first time and was ready to raise my lighter (if I had one) to We Are the Champions. I cannot heap enough praise on how the magic of the group is depicted, Malek is crazy good as Mercury, even if some of the personal behind the scenes stuff was changed. This is an absolutely a must-see film, however, due to the historical inaccuracies, I can only give it 3 ½ out of 5.