The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Justin Peters, Student Journalist

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Queen is without a doubt, one of the greatest bands of our time. Their songs are infectiously replayable, with incredibly skilled instrumentals from the bass player, John Deacon, drummer, Roger Taylor, and lead guitarist, Brian May, deep and meaningful lyrics, and one of the greatest singers who ever walked the Earth: the legendary Freddie Mercury. His voice and words inspired so many people to always be fearless and never give up in what you believe in. Bohemian Rhapsody is the movie that celebrates the life of Mercury and Queen. But it’s not the groundbreaking hit that everyone was expecting.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of Queen, their music and, of course, Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek). The film traces the rapid rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach incomparable success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for “Live Aid”, a charity event to help Africa. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.

This movie had a lot to live up to. Queen is one of the most beloved bands of our time, and they’re fans are very good at pointing out mistakes. And this movie had a lot of mistakes. And I know what you’re thinking, Of course, there’s going to be inaccuracies, you can’t get everything right. You’re not wrong. Many great rockumentaries and movies about musicians had inaccuracies, but the ones in this movie were to big not to recognize. The way that Freddie Mercury, Brian May (Gwilym Lee), and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) met, the way Freddie and his longtime partner, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) met, how Freddie Mercury wasn’t the first in the band to release a solo album (Roger Taylor released two albums before “Live Aid”), how Queen had been touring post-breakup and before “Live Aid” for a YEAR, and the one that pissed off fans the most, Freddie Mercury found out he had AIDS after “Live Aid” (two years after, in fact.). There are even more than that, but listing them would probably take up this entire review, making this movie more average than it should be. It’s just a regular movie, which is clearly not what the band deserved.

So yeah, this movie isn’t perfect (especially for fans). But, the acting is amazing. It’s jaw -dropping how much these actors feel exactly like the people they’re portraying, especially Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, who, in my opinion, can do no wrong. The music is of course, amazing, as it was written by the legends themselves. Rami Malek is not actually singing, he’s lip-synching Freddie’s voice, which is fine. It’s actually Mercury’s voice from his studio recordings, mashed together with Canadian Christian rock singer Marc Martel, whose ability to copy Mercury’s voice is so uncanny.  The movie glosses over, rearranges, and outright edits away so much of Queen and Freddie Mercury’s history that you wonder why the movie was even made at all. Also, you can watch their actual “Live Aid” performance (which is a lot better than the way the movie does it) on YouTube (links to “Live Aid” and Marc Martel’s channel at the bottom). Plus, director Dexter Fletcher left a quarter of the way through production, being replaced with Bryan Singer. But then HE left three-quarters of the way through, and so Fletcher was brought back to finish the movie. So you have two different, but similar styles clashing together to create this inaccurate, piece of Hollywood Ga-Ga.

GRADE: D

If you want to give your money to something Queen-related that isn’t this, go visit “The Mercury Phoenix Trust” (which is something I learned about from the movie). “MPT” has been helping fight AIDS for 21 years. It’s such a good charity to give to and you need to give them anything you can, no donation is too small.

http://www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com/

YouTube links:

Marc Martel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Xqkyhusuu1dvIgp6USEeg

Queen’s “Live Aid” Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A22oy8dFjqc&t=54s

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