Before being a myth, Queen was a group of boys led by a charismatic leader who reached the eternal glory between successful hits and difficult times: we saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” and believe us, “It Will Rock You”!
Behind and In Front of the Camera
We can definitely say that the production of the film went through tough times! Director Bryan Singer (directed of several movies of the “X-Men” saga, “Operation Valkyrie” and “The Usual Suspects”) was dismissed by 20th Century Fox due to production problems, and he was replaced for the last part of filming and post-production by Dexter Fletcher: luckily, it was an imperceptible passage, also because the true inspirers have always been Brian May and Roger Taylor, executive producers along with Robert De Niro.
The actor originally chosen to play Freddie Mercury was Sacha Baron Cohen, who abandoned the role for divergence with the band members, and was replaced first by Ben Wishaw and then definitively by Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”): Freddie’s role could have represented a too difficult of a challenge for the young actor, however from the first shot, every movement, expression, gesture or attitude of him gave life to a unique performance that convinces and keeps you glued to the screen from the first to the last second. Not by chance, there are those who are already speaking about an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for Rami!
Even the other members of the group have been chosen for the perfect physical similarity to the original ones, contributing to the realism of the film: Gwilym Lee (“The Tourist”) is Brian May, Ben Hardy (“Mary Shelley,” “X-Men Apocalypse”) is Roger Taylor, Joseph Mazzillo (“Jurassic Park,” “The Social Network”) is John Deacon. The cast is then composed by Lucy Boynton (“Assassination on the Orient Express”) as Mary Austin (Freddie’s great friend and first love), Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones,” the “Maze Runner”’ saga) as John Reid (Queen’s first manager) and Tom Hollander (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”’ saga) as Jim Beach (the second manager of the band).
Who’s Got the Typewriter
The screenplay was written by Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything,” “Darkest Hour”) and Peter Morgan (“Rush,” “The Crown”).
What to Know (ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILER)
In 1969, the young Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek) lives in a suburb of London with his family and he is divided between design courses, his work as baggage clerk at Heathrow Airport and a great passion for music. One evening he meets the members of an underground band, the guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and the drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) who have just been dropped by their singer: Farrokh, who will then change his name to Freddie Mercury, after a quick audition in the parking lot joins the band, along with the bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), thanks to his hypnotic stage presence (made even more theatrical by costumes) and a surprising vocal extension. It is the beginning of the Queen, whose moments of success, richness, but also of pressures and conflicts within the group (which will lead Freddy to isolate himself from his loved ones to find distraction in drugs and in an out-of-control sex life) are marked along the film by great hits such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “Love of My Life,” “Radio Gaga” and “We Are the Champions.” The finale, the reconstruction of the Live AID concert that took place on July 13, 1985, delivers Mercury (aware of his destiny) and Queen to History and into the heart of millions of people.
What You’ll Need
If you are big fans of Queen you cannot miss the chance to wear their concert’s T-shirts, then you just have to let yourself go while listening to some of the most dragging songs in the History of music on screen!
What They Say
Rami Malek: “The mythological nature of this man has meant so much to the people that he was almost considered a God from a musical point of view, so you can imagine how difficult it was for me. For this reason, it was important to do justice to his inheritance, so I plunged into what was Freddie Mercury, that means a year and a half of lessons of singing, piano and learning his movements and accent.”
Graham King, producer: “When an actor plays such a legendary person, he must contribute with himself. It’s not an imitation. You will not think about who is singing the songs when you will see the movie, even if Malek sings some parts, while for the others we used both original recordings of Freddie and some others made by the Canadian singer Marc Martel. However, do not think that he is exactly Freddie, he does not have to be identical, what is necessary is that he suggests his essence.“
One Last Thing…
For the first time, the full performance of the Live AID, recorded at Wembley Stadium in July 1985, can be heard from an official record label, while the 22 songs of the soundtrack were produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor along with longtime collaborators Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua J MacRae. The most important goal of the team that worked on the soundtrack of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was to find the versions of the band’s songs, particularly the live performances, that best suited the narrative of the screenplay. Brian May has also made a new version of the famous 20th Century Fox fanfare, arranging it with Roger Taylor: the result is an incredible overture which is perfect for the movie!
Out of 5 Monkeys: