It’s been almost 30 years since the music world lost one of the greats. Farrokh Bulsara, better known as Freddie Mercury, died on November 24, 1991 at the age of only 45 as a result of his HIV infection. Mercury revolutionized rock music with his band Queen. Songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Are The Champions”, “Somebody To Love” or “We Will Rock You” are unforgettable world hits to this day. The biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, now shown as a repeat on ProSieben, lets the band’s impressive career and the eventful life story of their singer pass in review.
Admittedly, this film was hardly expected any more. Work on it began years ago – always under the watchful eye of the two Queen members and co-producers Brian May and Roger Taylor. Sacha Baron Cohen, who was initially slated to play Freddie Mercury, left the set early on because his vision of the film was incompatible with May and Taylor’s. In addition, “X-Men” director Bryan Singer was fired just three weeks before filming ended due to internal squabbles and Dexter Fletcher had to finish the job. You don’t notice that the film was such a difficult birth.
Voice hui, teeth ugh
The story begins in London in 1970. When the rock band Smile loses its singer, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), who was still shy because of his looks, applies for the post. “Not with your teeth, buddy,” guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) pound him on the head at first, but when Mercury starts singing, he has the job.
Under the name Queen, the band quickly celebrated their first successes, which is not least due to Mercury’s extravagant appearance. Their big breakthrough came in 1975 with the single “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a rock opera whose success no one outside the band would have thought possible. Meanwhile, there are first disagreements between the band members, and Mercury’s relationship with the saleswoman Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) breaks when he realizes that he actually likes men. After all, drugs and alcohol ensure that he drifts further and further.
Rami Malek shines as Freddy Mercury
Rami Malek is undoubtedly the center of the film, the perfect cast and deservedly won an Oscar for “Best Actor”. With a movement coach, he studied the gestures and facial expressions of Freddie Mercury perfectly. So he succeeds in bringing Mercury back to life for a good two hours. Gwilym Lee as a trained astrophysicist Brian May is also brilliant, as is the cameo appearance of Mike Myers as the grim record company boss – a winking reference to the cult comedy “Wayne’s World”.
The only point of criticism, if you want to find one: The reality is slightly distorted here and there in order to tighten the story dramaturgically and make it suitable for film. Some dates are incorrect, Mercury’s excesses are only reproduced in a cushioned manner and quarrels within the band are portrayed as funny.
Still, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a moving homage to a great band and a unique artist. Goosebumps will set in at the latest when Freddie Mercury takes the stage at the Live Aid concert in London’s Wembley Stadium in 1985 – the performance was then seen by 1.9 billion people in 150 countries and is still considered one of the best live shows ever .
In 2021 Rami Malek starred alongside Jared Leto and Denzel Washington in the movie thriller “The Little Things”. The US actor’s appearance in the new “James Bond” film “No Time to Die” is also awaited with great excitement. In Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007, Malek played the inscrutable villain Safin. The 25th film in the legendary series of agents is slated to open in cinemas on September 30th.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Sun. 05.09. – ProSieben: 8.15 p.m.
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