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Cakes Takes on Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) (Movie Review)

Caila went to Meremac-STL for journalism and has been writing for most of her life.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The promotional and theatrical release poster for the movie, Bohemia Rhapsody, chronicling the lives the members of the band, Queen!

The promotional and theatrical release poster for the movie, Bohemia Rhapsody, chronicling the lives the members of the band, Queen!


So I saw this gem because I love a good musical biopic movie and I didn't get to see it in theaters and I am REALLY glad to have been able to have watched it! This movie made me realize how much I actually loved the band Queen. I wasn't born in the 70s or 80s to be in love with the band when they were hot, but as you watch you realize how many songs or anthems by Queen you know and love or have heard before but never knew were by them! I found myself saying a couple of times "I didn't know they played that!" on some of their less popular rock anthems, but still saying "omg I love that song!" to everything that I knew! It was pretty exciting.

The story itself is a stereotypical bland musical biopic as a whole. It has every movie trope from musical biopics that could have ever been thought of. If you are a casual fan of the band and their music, and want to know a little bit more about them as a group and hear the classics, then this movie will be for you. If you are a fanatic, then you will probably be disappointed in the film, its information that it gives off as being true, and the tropes that it endlessly brings into the plot for progression. The movie begins pretty much where the band meets. It just so happens that the members of a different band just lost their front-man/singer at a show that Freddie Mercury just attended. It takes less than two minutes for him to show them his vocal skills and that he can be their new lead singer! So quick and untrue actually, like most of the events that happen in this film. They are either misplaced in time or a fabrication of what really happened to the characters just to progress the story or raise the stakes. Basic storytelling drives this movie.

Queen Comparisons

The actors (top) and the band (bottom)

The actors (top) and the band (bottom)

Will We Rock You Though...???

From there, the movie jumps into a "Sing Along Song" musical. Every scene and everything that happens is just to get you to the next music set or the next music video Queen is filming and a montage of "how they rose to fame" clips! Very cliche and typical of the movie to not take any different sort of take on it, while incorporating the music. While it is fun to listen to all of these old hits and songs you may not have ever heard of, (Queen and Freddie Mercury has an amazing catalog of music) the movie stops and becomes a giant old school MTV/VH1 reel of music instead of telling Queen's story.

The main focus of the story is obviously the frontman, Freddie, the most eccentric and lively of the band, as it should be. The other members of the band really do become background fodder and the tropes of the film do not help with that, whatsoever. We get a breakup scene with the band, a comeback, stereotypical band fights and arguments, highs and lows, and a quick glimpse into the love life of Freddie. Everything is a stereotype and nothing special. If you are a fan of the band, you might not like much of this movie. Even Freddie's story came across as being simple and predictable.

The movie is also filled with lies, like their breakup, how the band came up with inspiration for their songs and videos, Freddie's diagnosis of the AIDS virus and its timing, just to hike up plot tension for their "final show", which was also a lie, because the show that the movie claimed was their "final show" was actually a few years after Freddie was diagnosed. They had not been broken up at the time of the final show because they were busy touring in the actual timeframe that the movie does not reveal. It mixes up events, reorders everything, or flat out just adds or takes out things from the band's history for the sake of the story. It is only alarming if you know the band and their music, so for an average movie goer, it would not impact the story at all for you. However, nits can be picked with this movie when it comes to the fans.

The music is genuinely the only thing that keeps this movie alive for me. It was not boring, per say, but it was not anything that you had not seen before. You literally could insert any band, group, or singer in the role of Queen for this movie and replace the music with another artist's and it could almost be the same film. It comes across as uncreative and bland. We have seen musical biopics take a different route and get imaginative like Rocketman, the film about Elton John's life. That film had moments like other movies like it, but it had an edge to it that made it stand out from the others. Bohemian Rhapsody did not... at all. The one good thing that the film did right was the music, and they have the band Queen, its surviving members helping with its direction on set, to thank for that. This made the average viewer, like myself when I first watched this, more inclined to listen to the classics and to learn more about the band. When you finally do, it makes the movie worse for knowing facts and the timeline of the band. You'll see clear problems with the timeline and the basic way in which the movie was made in the first place.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

Rami on stage performing as Freddie Mercury.

Rami on stage performing as Freddie Mercury.

My Final Thoughts

What I liked about the movie most was that they respected Freddie's privacy (and whether that be because of the PG-13 rating or not) and took the 'Selena' biopic movie route and focused mainly on the band and their rise to fame, rather than focus on the troubling times that led to their problems in life or their eventual deaths. The main thing I don't like about the movie is that it is factually twisted, inaccurate, omits and adds a lot of things and people and events that didn't happen. And it was all, to me, in the sake of fitting more music into the movie wherever they could or moving the story forward, and there are countless times of that happening in the movie.

Almost everything was for time crunching and plot convenience, but don't get me wrong. I still enjoyed the movie thoroughly because of the music. Rami Malek plays an outstanding Freddie Mercury. You can tell that he studied for his role as one of the greatest male vocalists of all time! He mimicked Freddie's stage mannerisms to the best of his abilities. The big front teeth that Freddie was also known for were comical on Rami, a little bit, but he worked through it within the film and I got used to it eventually. His supporting cast as the band was definitely there to back him up. The actors did their best with what they had but really had nothing to do, as most of the story focused on the character and figure that Freddie was to the band, Queen. It did make me want to know more about their stories and backgrounds in the band, before and after Freddie's passing. Congrats to Rami on the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film, a true testament to his performance. Great show for the music, I just wish it had been a little more factual and gone deeper in the story of the band than just based the whole movie in fan service and the obvious. However, I did go download all the of Queen songs I know and love though, so that means the movie did its job of highlighting the music of band... and that really was all.

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Review Poll

Actors, Actresses, and Production!

The teams, actors and actresses that went into making this musical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody!

Actors/ActressesProduction TeamProduction Companies

Rami Malek

Bryan Singer (Director)

Regency Enterprises (Production Company)

Gwilym Lee

Graham King (Producer)

GK Films (Production Company)

Ben Hardy

Jim Beach (Producer)

Queen Films (Production Company)

Joe Mazello

Anthony McCarten (Screenplay writer and Story writer)

20th Century Fox (Distribution Company)

Lucy Boynton

Peter Morgan (Story writer)

Allen Leech

Newton Thomas Sigel (Cinematographer)

Aidan Gillen

John Ottman (Editor)

This movie is a Gem.

Money! Money! MONEY!!!

This movie took about $55 million at most and grossed almost $905 million total back at the box office! This is amazing! It definitely puts legitimacy behind the legacy of Queen and where they stand in the public's eye still. They can still get a crowd together. This is one of the better parts about what the film did! It introduced a new generation of potential fans to Queen and Freddie Mercury. Making back 16 times what it cost to make is an amazing feat for this film, even though it was not entirely worth it.

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