I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it. I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic? Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well? Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?
All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it. It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile. And the rest you can say is history.
The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life. And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history. How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.
The movie though left me feeling very sad for two reasons. First, I really miss the talent that was Freddie Mercury. He had what could arguably be considered the best voice in music…ever! A voice that crossed genres and everyone would love. A voice so amazing, kids today are now discovering Queen…my daughters enjoy him even today. My oldest, discovering the catalog of music and liking more and more each day.
The second reason it made me sad was how powerful Rami Malek’s performance was of Freddie. He was so good and was able to show how lonely and sad Freddie was in life. The wild, drug-filled parties were because he couldn’t stand to be alone since he was so empty inside. It was quite heartbreaking. It was until he was diagnosed with AIDS that I think Freddie finally found peace with himself.
Rami Malek’s performance was amazing, but so was everyone else’s including Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon. They all looked the part and Gwilym seemed to nail Brian…my daughter ever commented on his part.
The greatest part of the movie is of course…the music. So many great songs, so many great performances and the movie captured it all. I watched this at home on my system, which was great, but I can imagine how this sounded in the theater…it had to be amazing.
This is a movie I think I will watch again and again for the music and especially the Live Aid scene. For that, I will give the movie a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars and I highly recommend it. Freddy Mercury is a legend now and I am glad I was around when he was. My oldest daughter and I are going to see Queen + Adam Lambert this August and I know it won’t be as good as with Freddie, but the chance to hear those songs and at least Brian and Roger are still playing that it makes me just as excited. Thanks for reading.