Queen. The band, the myth, the musical legend. And the inspiration for biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody, which is set to become one of the biggest music biopics of all time according to The Telegraph.
Originally directed by Bryan Singer before his untimely dismissal due to repeated failure to appear on set, it was replacement director Dexter Fletcher who took the reins to steer Bohemian Rhapsody to critical acclaim and award-winning status.
Titled after Queen’s universally renowned six-minute-long hit from their album A Night at the Opera, Bohemian Rhapsody follows bandmates Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Meddows Taylor on their rise to stardom, with a heavy focus on the life of lead singer and front-man Freddie Mercury.
Taking on the role of the late Freddie Mercury is 37-year-old American actor Rami Malek, who completely altered elements of his physique in his bold attempt to fill such very big shoes. After studying Mercury’s movements and stage presence, Malek was able to mimic Mercury’s gait, accent and aura. However, Malek truly transforms into the character of Mercury through the use of a set of acrylic false teeth fashioned by make-up artist and esteemed tooth-maker Chris Lyons.
The film also features a cameo by comedian Mike Myers, who is virtually unrecognisable as a cynical music executive named Ray Foster. A blink-and-you’ll-miss it moment also references the classic Bohemian Rhapsody headbanging introductory scene in the 1992 film that Myer’s himself stars in, Wayne’s World.
Costume designer Julian Day transports viewers through the decades with an elaborate wardrobe of authentic trends and fads, ranging from the flares and collars of the psychedelic 70s, to the bomber jackets and lightwash jeans of the decade of decadence known as the 80s.
Day also captures the evolution of Mercury’s eclectic style, incorporating several vintage items from rock’n’roll London boutique Biba, where Mercury’s long-time female love interest Mary Austin worked when they first met. Through the use of a revolving wardrobe of Mercury’s most iconic looks, including spandex jumpsuits, leather jackets, tight jeans and tank tops, Day conveys Mercury’s iconic androgynous glam with an incredible eye for detail.
Several full-length musical numbers showcase Queen’s greatest hits throughout the ages, however it is the scenes that depict the band’s triumphant set at Live Aid that truly capture the electric energy that Queen delivered to every live performance spanning their two-decade career.
Featuring a talented cast who closely mirror the image of the original band members, as well a stellar soundtrack of both well and lesser known hits, Bohemian Rhapsody brings audience members of all ages together to appreciate the multifaceted talents of Freddie Mercury and the timeless rock ballads of Queen.
Words by Tayla Giles