Out Now On-Demand
Rami Malek delivers an Oscar-winning performance as Freddie Mercury in this Best Picture-winning biopic of Queen. Penned by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything).
Bohemian Rhapsody's long gestation, since 2010, has seen the departure of Sacha Baron Cohen as Mercury (later called an "arse" by Queen guitarist Brian May) and director Bryan Singer from part of the shoot in controversial circumstances.
Best Actor (Rami Malek), Editing, Sound Editing & Sound Mixing; Best Motion Picture - Drama & Performance (Rami Malek), Golden Globes 2019
Drama, Music, True Story & Biography, Blockbuster
Rating: M Offensive language, sexual references & drug references
Freddie Mercury’s amazing voice and showmanship lifted Brit band Queen above pretentious pomp-rock, as with Rami Malek’s bravura central performance here as the larger-than-life lead singer with operatic aspirations, a defiantly sexual persona with rock god egomania turned way up to eleven.
Framed by Queen’s triumphant 1985 Live Aid set, cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel lends proceedings a spectacular, widescreen aesthetic (especially during concert scenes). Bryan Singer (reinstated on the credits as director) and Kiwi screenwriter Anthony McCarten shy away from outrageously exaggerated operatic highs and tragic lows in favour of a glittery rags-to-riches tale, following Farrokh Bulsara (born of Parsi descent on Zanzibar) from London airport baggage-handler through to changing his name, and finding fame as Freddie Mercury.
Lucy Boynton, as love of Freddie’s life Mary Austin, allows for a boy-meets-girl, boy-discovers-he’s-gay friendship arc, and there’s a glorious cameo (and deft Wayne’s World nod) by Mike Myers as a cynical EMI executive. That Queen guitarist Brian May (played by Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and manager Jim “Miami” Beach (Tom Hollander) are producers probably accounts for a script attempting to focus on Freddie whilst repeatedly mentioning the rest of the band’s contributions, with just enough creative process and ugly reality to lend it an authentic feel.
The band struggle, argue, Freddie parties to excess, and whilst his homosexuality, drug abuse, and HIV aren’t ignored, the timeline is rejigged in service of a linear narrative and neatly upbeat resolution. But this isn’t a documentary, rather reality reimagined as a highly entertaining, bombastic fairy tale. Bold, brash and so brim-full full of songs as to sometimes feel like a greatest hits video interspersed with dramatic scenes, like the band it’s a rockin’ good ride powered by a stand-out lead performance.
The Times (UK)
TimeOut (New York)
NZ Herald (Toby Woollaston)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
NewsHub (Kate Rodger)
Caught me by surprise, not my usual preference, but I was captivated! The cast were amazing; Rami Malek captured the loneliness always just beneath the surface. The songs were simply the best! A must-see people.
A Crime To Not Watch This In Cinemas
Watching this in a cinema is the closest some of us will get to the real Live Aid. To watch Malek's extraordinary performance on anything other than a huge screen wouldn't do this film justice. BR just gets better with repeat viewings and will instill a newfound love for Queen songs - leaving cinema-goers firing up Spotify as credits roll.
a moving portrayal of how freddie and queen reached for the stars .
What Cinema's Were Built for
Feel like your part of a stadium stomping your feet to "We Will Rock You". Rami Malek morphs into the enigma that is Freddy Mercury. Dive into his heritage that was never in the spotlight. His parents offer valuable insights into why Farrokh became Freddy. If you sit back and give in, this film will take you on a journey.
First half is epic! Then it drags a bit but the finish is good. Lacks a bit of explaining what is happening and no clear timeline so unless you know the story and history well you may get a bit lost here and there. Music of course is what saves this movie.
I liked it.
The concert scenes - be it a small corner pub or Madison Square Gardens were electric. As a casual fan I couldn't tell where the creative liberties took over but the story rolled along at an enjoyable pace, a couple of corny parts here and there but easily forgiven as it was a fun ride. Yeah, I teared up near the end. The likeness of the all the characters and players of the day was pretty damn bang on for my money. I'm still bugged I gave SOLO such a high rating.
Quite the spectacle, but isn't flawless.
It's loud and sensational, with phenomenal performances throughout. However, along with its, rather weak, softer scenes, it won't completely rock you.
A superficial, by the numbers biopic. Sure, a lot of movies based on actual events twist the truth to make the story more entertaining, but "Bohemian Rhapsody" is full of lies and I thought the changes were disrespectful to Freddie Mercury. The direction, colour grade and cinematography makes this look like something that was made for Netflix. The script is corny and contrived. While I enjoyed Rami Melek's performance during the 1985 Live Aid concert sequence, the fake stadium and crowds of people which looked like they were done using After Effects took me out of the film. The music is good, but "Bohemian Rhapsody" is pretty lame. You'll learn more about Freddie Mercury and Queen from watching documentaries, videos and reading books.