Bohemian Rhapsody

In Cinemas Now

Mr. Robot's Rami Malek is Freddie Mercury in this celebratory biopic of Queen. Penned by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), from the director of X-Men.

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 due to health concerns.

Trailers

Directed by

  • Bryan Singer('X-Men', 'Superman Returns', 'The Usual Suspects')

Drama, Music, True Story & Biography, Blockbuster

134mins

Rating: M Coarse language

USA, UK

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.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...it is not necessary to like Queen's music in order to find this film watchable and mildly enjoyable.

Screen International

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Appropriately for a group known for its theatrical, crowd-pleasing tunes, this biopic carries itself lightly, serving up familiar plot points with panache and a sense of humour.

The Times (UK)

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Bohemian Rhapsody, an eight-year abomination in the making...cannot claim to have achieved even wiki-movie status.

Empire (UK)

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The film has a secret weapon: Rami Malek. As Mercury he is spectacular.

The Guardian

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A bolder film might have explored the relationship between Mercury's hedonism, his mostly closeted sexuality and his on and off-stage personas in a more nuanced way.

Hollywood Reporter

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Someday another feature about Queen might go deeper.

Variety (USA)

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With a performance as commanding as Rami Malek's at its centre, why isn't Bohemian Rhapsody a better movie?

TimeOut (New York)

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The energy of Malek's imitation helps to bind what amounts to a series of gossipy but harmless rock-world anecdotes into something vaguely coherent.

NZ Herald (Toby Woollaston)

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If you're after a stirring account of Queen's musical life, then this one is for you. However, if you're after an authentic retelling of Mercury's off-stage life, you'll be let down.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

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Bohemian Rhapsody is an often irritating and occasionally unforgivable film. It is also one hell of a good night out. Go see it.

NewsHub (Kate Rodger)

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Rami Malek is convincing enough under pressure to play Mercury well, and as the Hollywood version of the story of Queen, I enjoy it quite a bit.

false

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.

Barny

Barny

user


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.

PercyM

PercyM

user


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.


Bohemian Rhapsody

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.