Stellar performances, killer riffs and all the hits – Bohemian Rhapsody really is a kind of magic
Taking on a story as epic as that of rock band Queen is a daunting task, but rest assured – Bohemian Rhapsody is a genuine crowd-pleaser. Oscar nominee Rami Malek is spellbinding as the fabulous frontman, and while the film takes some creative licence to keep the plot ticking along, fans new and old will relish this big-screen retelling.
Before he became Freddie Mercury, the singer was Farrokh Bulsara – a college student of Indian-British descent working at Heathrow Airport as a baggage handler in the 1970s. But his destiny was about to be written in the skies following a chance encounter with some musicians you might recognise.
A fan of the band Smile, Farrokh discovers they are down a lead singer and gets in touch with members Brian May (Gwilym Lee, Midsomer Murders), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy, Only The Brave) and John Deacon (Joe Mazzello, The Social Network). He changes his name to Freddie Mercury and Queen is born!
The movie charts the band’s meteoric rise to superstardom and the uphill battle it took to get there, as well as Freddie’s internal struggles, including his exploration of his sexual identity. Despite his engagement to shop assistant Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton, Apostle), he has a string of affairs, and his actions come under intense press scrutiny in the wake of his AIDS diagnosis.
The film culminates in a recreation of the group’s near-mythical Live Aid benefit concert performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985, where they bring down the house with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga,” “Hammer To Fall” and “We Are The Champions”.
As one of the greatest rock bands in history, it seems only right that the movie has become the highest-grossing music biopic in history, earning around $800 million worldwide.
Malek has already cleaned up with a Best Actor Golden Globe, Satellite Award and AACTA International Award. Next stop? The Oscars, where the film has five nominations, for Best Picture, Actor, Sound Mixing, Film Editing and Sound Editing.
Looking for somebody to love?
Then check out the Virgin Media Store’s Valentine’s Day Sale, available until Sunday 17 February. There’s plenty of classic romantic films to couple up with, including The Bodyguard, P.S. I Love You, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and, of course, Valentine’s Day. Or, if you’re protesting the holiday, let How To Be Single, Magic Mike XXL or 10 Things I Hate About You be your partner in crime.
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