Article by: Amelie dL.
Illustration by: Jerico B.
One of the highest rated biopics of all time, Bohemian Rhapsody’s success has topped the charts instantaneously. The film follows the journey of rock band Queen from their humble beginnings to stardom, as well as pay homage to the lead singer’s life – music icon Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek). It features many of Queen’s hits such as the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the anthemic “We Will Rock You”, and many other memorable songs. Directed by Queen’s very own lead guitarist, Brian May, the movie is a celebration of the band, their music, and Freddie Mercury.
However, the critique Bohemian Rhapsody has received is very mixed.
The rather lighthearted and positive approach to the Queen biopic has sparked many heated debates and criticism. Critics have suggested that the movie is inauthentic and masks the gruesome truth. To quote (a website run by Conde Nast) Pitchfork’s review, “Bohemian Rhapsody is not so much a film as it is a dramatization of a Wikipedia entry, watered down and over-edited.”
Contrary to the critics’ beliefs, the movie has done stupendously among the ISM community. When asked about his opinion on the movie, sophomore Christian L. states that: “I thought the movie was absolutely amazing. It really made you feel like you were actually experiencing what was happening on screen – all of the awesome performances, the fights and arguments, and the heart wrenching sentimental moments.” Furthermore, many commend [the lead star] Rami Malek’s accurate portrayal of Freddie Mercury, from his flamboyant outfits and false teeth- giving him the Freddie Mercury overbite- to his electric performances on stage with his fellow band members. “His performance was absolutely outstanding. Sometimes I thought that Rami Malek was actually Freddie!” says sophomore Izzie P.
With an audience score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, why would critic reviews shed such a negative light on the biopic? One interpretation of this is that the movie’s criticism mirrors Queen’s criticism through the years. When the band released their famous single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, critics met it with brutal comments, yet the audience responded positively, making the song the iconic hit that it is today.
Regardless of these reviews, the movie is a resounding testament of Queen’s lasting legacy throughout the years. The movie has helped unify many generations, both young and old, who come together to listen to the band’s unique and time-defying songs. Their message of being your true self and not sticking to conventional expectations is an important lesson for all.