High Point University

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ focuses more on Mercury, less on Queen

By Jack Murphy// Staff Writer

From director Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher, after Singer was fired from production, comes “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the biopic about one of the best bands in rock history, Queen. The film stars Rami Malek as Freddy Mercury, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as Brian May and includes other great performances from Lucy Boynton and Allen Leech. I would consider myself a classic rock fan, and whether Queen’s music is classified as classic rock music is completely up to you, but without a doubt, Queen has made some of the catchiest and most iconic songs ever, period. “Bohemian Rhapsody” incorporates as much of Queen’s music as it can.

From the title track, “Another One Bites the Dust” to “Radio Gaga,” all the hits and a lot of their origins are included in the film. Not only did this make for a more fun experience in general, but it was also incredibly fascinating to see which one of the band members came up with each of the songs and how they were made. Overall, each of the four leads gave good performances, with the exception of Rami Malek, who gave, easily, the best performance out of anyone. Freddy Mercury is not only one of rock’s best singers of all time, but he’s also one of the most fascinating. From his iconic style and unique vocals, Mercury’s one of the hardest people for an actor to portray, and Malik does an absolutely incredible job. “Bohemian Rhapsody” covers Freddie Mercury’s life from the time he joined Queen in 1970 all the way to his legendary Live Aid performance in 1985. However, this leads me to my greatest problem with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“Bohemian Rhapsody” doesn’t know if it wants to be a Queen biopic or a Freddy Mercury biopic, and it tries to be both. “Bohemian Rhapsody” opens in 1970 where Freddy Mercury discovers a band, in which their lead singer just quit and Mercury asks to be their lead singer, in which the band agrees after hearing Mercury sing. Throughout the rest of the runtime, Mercury is the lead character and the film, for the most part, follows Freddie Mercury’s journey as a member of Queen, not the band Queen. If it was trying to be a Mercury biopic, it should have shown his childhood and more of his early life. However, if it did want to be a Queen biopic, then it focused the bare minimum on the other three members of Queen. The only other issue I had with “Bohemian Rhapsody” is how the first act of the film goes by way too fast and the pacing is off.

Overall, “Bohemian Rhapsody” could have been something extraordinary, but the final product is still a very entertaining, interesting and a fun ride through Queen’s rise to fame and a look inside the origins of some of their greatest hits. I would recommend seeing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” regardless if you’re a fan of Queen or not.