By Talia Kupferman
Editor’s Note: The article below contains spoilers for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
“Don’t stop me now cause I’m having a good time…having a good time.” – Queen
Those were my exact thoughts as I watched Bohemian Rhapsody in theatres. This movie is a celebration of the band Queen and its music, as well as the extraordinary life of the lead singer, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). Though some facts were altered to enhance the flow of the movie, the overall storyline is true.
Although viewers can recognize most of Queen’s songs (Bohemian Rhapsody, We are the Champions etc.), what is less known is how and why Freddie Mercury, or Farrokh Bulsara as his parents called him, came to write these iconic songs. The movie shows you a glimpse into the creative mind of Freddie and how he met and began working with the band to orchestrate the songs we love hearing on the Radio (GaGa). Additionally, we learn the story of Freddie and Mary (Lucy Boynton), his wife (then ex-wife). Freddie falls madly in love with Mary, but as he goes on tour with Queen, he begins to realize he has mixed feelings about his sexuality. This causes him and Mary to split up in a somewhat amicable fashion. He still remains a true friend to Mary and her new family.
My Thoughts/ Reactions/ Comments on the Movie:
1. RAMI. FREAKING. MALEK. – Prior to this exquisite role, I only knew Rami as the handsome Pharoah in Night at the Museum. And boy, once I saw him in that long 1970s hair and bushy mustache, I thought, “Is this the real life?… Is this just fantasy,” because I knew this would be a whole new ball game. Where do I even start? Rami truly embodied Freddie. From the simple glances of love and desire towards Mary to the wacky and charismatic “dance moves” Freddie did on stage, Rami nailed them all.
Due to Freddie Mercury having a severe overbite (because of four extra teeth), Malek had to wear fake teeth to complete his costume. In terms of aesthetics, the fake teeth Malek wore throughout the movie might have been a bit too dramatic for me, but the way he learned to work with them was fantastic. Malek studied how Freddie spoke, sang and presented himself by not focusing on his teeth, the thing that most people noticed first.
**Fun Fact: Freddie’s 4 extra teeth actually made more space in his oral cavity, allowing more space for his voice to fill**
Overall, I give Rami Malek a 11/10 !
2. Costumes- “A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.”- Freddie Mercury.
The costume designers for this movie sincerely took the quote above to heart. The costumes were remarkably spot on in terms of accuracy for the different time periods. The lavish party outfits, performance costumes, and even makeup were all detailed to perfection. A shout out also needs to be made to the hair designers (if that’s even a thing). It was incumbent upon the hair designers to ensure that every character looked like a killer queen with their frizzy and large 70’s styled hair, 80’s styled hair and eccentric mustaches being on point— they certainly delivered.
Costumes were a 9.5/10 for me (that .5 was for the teeth)
3. “Darling”- I don’t know about you, but I was obsessed with how Freddie ended every line with the word “Darling”. I loved it so much because it was so cute to hear Rami call everyone Darling, #obbsessedwithRami #sorrynotsorry, but more so because I think it was only at a certain point where Freddie’s character began to feel comfortable in who he was and to express who he was to others. Once he found comfort and satisfaction in acknowledging that he was bisexual, his true colors were finally released (with ‘darling’ being a part of that). It was this side of Freddie that asked, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?” Not to mention that he sounded exquisitely regal saying “darling”, as though he were truly a queen.
Overall, as you can tell, I highly recommend this movie. Even if you don’t enjoy the movie itself, you will enjoy needing to re-listen to all of the best Queen songs. Whether you jam out to We Will Rock You or emotionally sing your heart out to You’re My Best Friend, it is certain that whatever Freddie was thinking of while writing Bohemian Rhapsody, he knew it would unite generations to come.
“I love the fact that I can make people happy, in any form. Even if it’s just an hour of their lives, if I can make them feel lucky or make them feel good, or bring a smile to a sour face, that to me is worthwhile.”- Freddie Mercury, 1946-1991.