REVIEW: The critics are wrong about Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen. They’re the epitome of British musical talent and variety, pumping out classic after classic that would rock the world ever since they first set foot on stage.

There have been many reviews that have slated the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for being ‘not terribly exciting’ and ‘Rami Malek’s excellent performance aside, it feels less a pioneering musical odyssey than a really good covers band’, but I beg to differ.

The quartet were perfectly cast in this 2018 feel-good biopic, creating a true portrayal of the band’s enthusiasm and chemistry, lead by a stunning performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

After vocal training, singing and piano lessons, as well as prosthetic teeth and thorough research of Mercury’s persona, Malek morphed into the character seamlessly and throughout the film I forgot entirely that I was not watching the real thing, but an actor.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox.

The portrayal of the lead singer was subtle but tragic, hinting at Mercury’s bisexuality and contraction of AIDs, whilst focussing on his relationship with the band, previous wife and the media. Although gay characters have become more of a normality in Hollywood, this film does wash over the LGBT factors, although Freddie ultimately died of pneumonia as a complication of AIDs.

Other band members Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), Brian May (Gwilym May) and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) learned their musical trades for the film showing an immense amount of talent and commitment to the role – as we all know that even learning the recorder is difficult enough, let alone learning to play the drums, bass or guitar.

Watching Bohemian Rhapsody will make you learn about the inner-workings and chemistry of Queen as well as some background in Freddie’s life, giving context to his Zanzibar heritage and Indian family .

Throughout different stages in their career, Queen continued to be progressive and this was demonstrated by the outfits, genres and diversity in their songs.

Stomp your feet and sing along to this tale of love, sorrow, compassion and untimely demise.


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Brittany Tijou-Smith

Brittany is a third year Multimedia Journalism student, her work has been featured on KentLive and KentOnline. Her filming work also won ‘Documentary of the Year 2018’ at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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