Released in October 2018, the Bohemian Rhapsody film has been critically acclaimed and has picked up many honours, including 4 Academy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and British Academy Film Award. Here TVMucho explores the phenomenon and must see movie for any Queen fans.
What is Bohemian Rhapsody about?
Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration and enthralling film which charts Queen’s emphatic rise, their amazing and revolutionary music through to Freddie Mercury’s solo career, the bands reunion and one of history’s most famous rock performances. It also focuses heavily on the charismatic and stereotype defying singer who became one of the most loved entertainers in history.
The film doesn’t hold back and goes into intimate details of the bands trials and tribulations, including the bitter separation following Mercury’s $4 millon solo dollar deal, his private life and the difficulty of coming to terms with contracting AIDS. It also shows the compassion the band find as they reunite and altruistically support not only Freddie, but Live Aid and then set up a trust in honour of the singer in the form of the Mercury Phoenix Trust.
Who Stars in Bohemian Rhapsody?
The film contains an array of familiar faces, Freddie Mercury is played by Rami Malek (The Pacific and Night at the Museum Trilogy) with Gwilym Lee (Jamestown) as lead guitarist Brian May, Ben Hardy (Eastenders) as Roger Taylor the drummer and the bands bass guitarist John Deacon played by Joe Mazzello (Jurassic Park). The man of many characters, Mike Myers portrays EMI executive Ray Foster and Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, Mercury’s girlfriend. Other cast members include Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones), Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean), Aaron McCusker (Shameless) and Dermot Murphy.
The Production of Bohemian Rhapsody
It was actually as long as 9 years ago the plans were revealed by Brian May for a film about Queen. The proposal was quite different – it was to cover the period up to Live Aid in 1985 with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie Mercury, Peter Morgan writing the screenplay and Graham King to co-produce. Confirmation appeared in April 2011 that production was going forward, however in 2013 Baron Cohen had left the project. He spoke openly in 2016 that he left on good terms, despite some creative differences – he wanted a ‘gritty tell all’ story about the band whereas May et al wanted a family friendly movie. May also revealed he thought Baron Cohen was too well known as a comedian (largely for his fictional personae of Borat and Ali G).
Ben Whishaw (the voice of Paddington Bear) was put forward as a possible replacement for Baron Cohen but it never materialised and in 2014 the production was struggling. Anthony McCarten appeared on the scene in November 2015 and developed the project immensely, Bryan Singer became director and Rami Malek was cast as Mercury in 2016. The film was fast tracked by 20th Century Fox and New Regency and after a script rewrite in 2017 by Justin Haythe, became the sensation it is today.
In July 2017 pre-production began and filming started in London in September with a forecast to be completed in early 2018. Greg Brooks, Queen archivist, ensured each scene was as true to life as possible, which included the entire Live Aid performance – although sadly Crazy Little Thing Called Love and We Will Rock you were cut from the film. To recreate the large crowds around 100 extras were used, each of which were individually scanned 360’ and then digitally replicated to create the sea of people.
Bryan Singer directed the film but sadly was unable to complete the task, his mother was extremely ill and Fox replaced him with Dexter Fletcher. There were many rumours surrounding Singer’s departure with some media outlets reporting that Fox and the cast were becoming increasingly concerned over his behaviour.
Filming was confirmed as finished on 30 January 2018 when Gwilym Lee posted on social media. The trailers appeared a few months later and we treat you to one below.
Reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody received mixed online reviews, the ‘professionals’ tended to rate lower than the public. Google rates the film at 9.1 out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes at 69%, and Metacritic 49%, whereas Roger Ebert gives a very lowly 1/4. One very common theme through all the reviews is the exceptional performance by Rami Malek, his award for Best Actor in both the Academy Awards and British Academy Film Award fully justified.
The Critics were equally mixed in their reviews, here we will take a look at key ones:
Ians from News 18: Rami Malek as the buck-faced Freddie, offers a credible performance, especially when the band is in the studio or in concert.
Ann Hornaday from the Washington Post: Bohemian Rhapsody is a bad movie, but boy, is it entertaining.
Olly Richards from Empire: Like Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody is three parts good but not terribly exciting, and one part absolute joyful, fabulous entertainment that makes you forget everything else around it
A.O.Scott from The NYTimes: Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie about Queen, lasts more than two hours, not a very long time long by modern feature-film standards, even though it feels interminable
Facts About Bohemian Rhapsody
- Lead actor Rami Malek had only a casual knowledge of the band. For him to become Mercury he had to work intensely with a movement coach (as well as learn to talk with prosthetic teeth).
- Scaramouche, phrased in the song, is a stock character from commedia dell’arte (improvised Drama from the Italian 16th century), a buffoon who always manages to wriggle out of sticky situations he invariably finds himself in, usually at the expense of somebody else.
- Despite Mercury’s incredibly versatile and skilled voice, it was Roger Taylor who provided those trademark high operatic notes in the song.
- In 2000, Bohemian Rhapsody was voted The Song of the Millennium, and the Guinness Book of Records’ No 1 song of all time.
- In 1991 Bohemian Rhapsody topped the charts for a second time following Mercury’s death. The band released it to raise money in the fight against AIDS, this was the first time in history a song went number 1, twice.
How can I watch Peaky Blinders?
Bohemian Rhapsody is still available in many cinemas across the globe, and is also set for release on DVD and BlueRay in march 2019. To find your local one you can use a search engine or check out www.timeout.com. Many airlines, such as British Airways are also now showing the movie on long haul inflight entertainment.
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