Queen are and will always be one of the most iconic bands of all time, there is no denying that. Fronted by Freddie Mercury, the kind of showman that comes around once in a lifetime, they rocked the world with a number of hits that remain as classic anthems, recognisable to many around the world. I grew up listening to their songs so Bohemian Rhapsody was always going to be film to keep an eye out for me.

Starting in the early 1970s, Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the formation of Queen and the life of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), leading to their legendary appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.
An icon such as Freddie Mercury needs a memorable performance and in the shape of Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody certainly has that. Malek transforms into Mercury, mannerisms and all, and the end result is just superb, Malek delivering a performance of gravitas and showmanship akin to Mercury. There's also a slight sense of vulnerability to Malek's performance, evoking an emotional response to how hard Mercury's life must have been while handling life-changing events.

Malek shares such a great chemistry with other cast members portraying the rest of Queen; Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon. It's great fun to watch them interact with one another and see how some of Queen's most famous songs were created and brought to life in the recording studio. Lucy Boynton impresses as Mary Austin, Mercury's lifelong companion, but due to the creative choice in making this more family friendly she feels a little underused. There's also an unrecognisable Mike Myers to look out for in the film which adds a bit of light relief to proceedings.

The family friendly approach to this biopic means restrictions on how much they could delve into the personal life of Mercury so, if you're expecting an unflinching insight into his life, you won't get it here. That isn't to say Bohemian Rhapsody avoids any issues in his life to make everything seem sunny because this film has some powerful moments in relation to Mercury's AIDS diagnosis, the moment he breaks the news to his fellow band members really striking an emotional chord with me. 

Then comes the emotional crescendo that is the entire Live Aid performance the whole film has been leading to. The old Wembley Stadium is resurrected through visual effects wizardry while Mercury is resurrected through the brilliant Malek, strutting his stuff with such stage presence to admire. Seeing that iconic performance brought to life in such an admirable manner made this closing sequence, particularly the "We Are The Champions" segment, such a joyous experience.

Ending on such a high note means you just can't help but leave the cinema with a beaming smile. Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of Queen and one of the greatest showman to ever live, Freddie Mercury, and the film does a fine job in making sure both will never be forgotten.

Verdict: ★★★★


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