Rami Malek’s Outstanding Performance in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

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Published November 7, 2018
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Rami Malek stars as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody." Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

People filled movie theaters with friends, family and lovers for the premiere of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Nov. 2. As soon as the movie started, all of the popcorn crunching, drink slurping and chitchat ceased to exist.

The two hour and 15 minute movie felt all too quick as the film dove right into the life of Freddie Mercury and his journey as the legendary lead singer of the band Queen.

Queen originated in the United Kingdom in 1970 as a rock band but has crafted tunes of unfathomable and often uncategorized genres that continue to perforate speakers everywhere. Other than Mercury, the band consisted of drummer Roger Taylor, guitarist John Deacon and lead guitarist Brian May.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” pans in with creative camera angles and detailed scenes. There were lots of mirrored techniques as people wove in and out of Mercury’s aviator sunglasses and reflected against the side of Queen’s trailer.

As Mercury poured beer onto a drum set, Taylor hit them with his drum sticks, causing the liquid to splash up and down in slow motion, mesmerizing the audience if only for a moment. One could only imagine how many scenes were shot and how many times they had to be redone. It is truly impeccable and obvious that the cast and crew spent a lot of time and energy on this film.

There are star studded appearances from Mike Myers of “Austin Powers” and Aidan Gillen from “Game Of Thrones.” The actors’ combined performances made me feel like Queen was really on the big screen, performing live before my very eyes.

However, Malek did such a great job that at times, I sympathized with him. I could legitimately feel every emotion his character was portraying as if they were my own. My heart ached and pried out of my chest with every sentimental scene, resulting in a whirlwind of emotions ever since.

Mercury was the epitome of “the show must go on” throughout the film and it was apparent that the real-life Mercury had nothing but love to give.

Despite what people know of Mercury’s sexuality, he had a female love interest, Mary Austin, throughout the film. A relationship that was first sexual in nature, turned into a platonic friendship between two soul mates as Mercury went through the realization that he was gay.

The kind of love he had for Austin was unconditional. From the way he stared at her, it was clear he wanted to emulate her and was so very in love with the idea of her, basking in her beauty and grace.

After watching the movie, viewers who have listened to famed anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody” many-a-time will really hear the song for the first time. To the world, it is just a fun song but to Mercury, it was everything.

Those who go into the film not knowing much about Mercury will leave theaters with a new sense of appreciation for the man and understand why many people idolized him and continue to do so in his legacy.

During the film, Mercury said, “You don’t know me, you just see what you want to see,” but as the movie came to an end, audiences were able to see the version of him that he always wanted to be remembered as.

The film makes it clear that Mercury did not want to be remembered for his AIDS diagnosis or his sexuality. He wanted to be remembered for being himself: a performer who gives the people what they want.

Poster for "Bohemian Rhapsody" featuring Rami Malek and the movie's logo.

“Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek makes the jump from television to the big screen with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

There were comedic elements incorporated into the film as the band members receive negative feedback on their album from Myers’ character, Ray Foster, who said a six-minute song was just too long for radio, let alone good enough to be a chart topping single.

As Mercury became the face of Queen, he pushed the band to get inventive and creative with their style of music, using unconventional instruments like pots, pans and coins on a drum set.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” will make musical artists mad that they did not think of any of it first.

Anytime Malek’s character spoke, I could almost feel his hot breath and spit shooting out. He spoke eloquently, yet passionately about his music.

The writing was fantastic and the acting was even better. I have zero qualms about “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The film did not waste any time. Viewers were able to get a feel for what his childhood, family life and private life were like through quick scenes. There was never a moment when a scene felt too dragged out or offbeat. Do not blink or you will miss something.

The film teaches audiences to know their worth and believe in themselves regardless of what other people might want to see.

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