Run to see this film, worth so much more than its admission fee; run to see the enormity of Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara), the lead singer in the English band “Queen”; run to see glorious filmmaking and a musical feat of wizardry, the total reenactment of Queen’s 1985 set at “Live Aid” concert, Wembley Stadium, London. Freddie, androgynously flamboyant, a Zanzibar immigrant hosting four extra incisors, an outcast with raging ambition, astronomical imagination; Malek’s flawless, gigantically energized depiction is the stuff of genius; a tunnel of talent, staggering in its depth.
Much more than a biopic, director Bryan Singer splays upon the screen, the intensity of the times; the seventies and eighties exacerbated “sex, drugs and rock and roll” triggering an explosion of promiscuity, enhanced by the availability of “party” drugs; decimation of sexual norms, no longer shrouded, homosexuality abounds, leading to the plague of aids; “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a metaphor for sensational supernovas, blighted before their time: Rock Hudson, Peter Allen, Rudolf Nureyev, Gia Carangi, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe; Freddie Mercury, perpetually conflicted, loves Mary Austin (aching, poignant portrayal by Lucy Boynton) but his hedonistic lifestyle is his undoing, and eventual redemption.
Sublime casting, especially “Queen’s” musician family: May (Gwilym Lee); Taylor (Ben Hardy); John (Joe Mazzello), brainy men who chose music over mundanity; their innovative scenes resonate with magical, masterful artistry; the group struck a chord with the outcasts, disenfranchised, ultimately encompassing “Everyman.”
Run to experience this exhilarating, enthralling movie, and if not a “Queen” fan, prepare for your conversion.