First Hit: Accurate or not, this film was fun, well-acted, engaging, and joyful.
Like many, I liked and enjoyed much of Queen’s music. The song Bohemian Rhapsody was one of those songs that broke new ground and confounded music executives. The development of having the audience be the music by stomping twice and clapping once in “We Will Rock You,” was brilliant. It became part of their anthem. And finally, “We Are the Champions” is a song that continues to be used world-wide by sports teams as well as lots of other groups.
This film’s focus is on Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). Born with four extra incisors, his teeth gave him a unique look. His family’s religion, Zoroaster, gave him a homelife that was restrictive and eventually he changed his name from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddy Mercury to help him distance himself from his family and background.
The scenes when the band is figuring out songs together spoke a lot about how they co-created their music. They were misfits together as a group, and they claimed that much of their audience were the misfits in the world.
Freddie grew up confused about his sexual orientation. He did fall in love with Mary Austin (Lucy Boyton) who became his wife, ex-wife, lifelong friend, and supporter. It was with Mary that you could see Freddie relax and not need be “on.”
What made this film work was the music and how the band was always there for the music.
Although, there are misrepresentations in this film about Freddie, when he contracted AIDs, that wasn’t the point, it was about how this group of men worked together to create music together. It was about how Freddie represented Queen as their front man, and that they were a team of musicians.
Malek was sublime as Mercury. Although he didn’t actually sing any of the songs, he lip-synced perfectly while capturing the grandiose way Mercury was the front man for Queen. Boynton was excellent as Mercury’s female love. Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, and Joseph Mazzello were extraordinary as Queen band members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon respectively. Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan wrote a wonderful story. Bryan Singer made this story come alive, but I’ve got to say, the music is the star right behind Malek.
Overall: Thoroughly enjoyed the power of Queen’s music and to add great acting by Malek and the band helped even more.