Bohemian Rhapsody reviews: What the critics have said about Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury


Bohemian Rhapsody was a surprise winner at the Golden Globes this year, as Rami Malek picked up a much coveted Golden Globe for his performance as music legend Freddie Mercury. The film was made under the guidance of Freddie Mercury’s band members, the last surviving members of Queen. As he picked up the award, Malek was flanked by both Brian May and Roger Taylor – lead guitarist and drummer in the hit band – who beamed alongside the Mr Robot actor.

In his acceptance speech on Sunday, Malek paid tribute to Queen and said he was “beyond moved” to have won.

He added: “To you, Brian May, to you, Roger Taylor, for ensuring that authenticity remains in the world and in all of us.

“Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a life time.”

Malek also dedicated the award to Mercury, who died in 1991, saying: “This is for and because of you, gorgeous!”

Malek is now odds-on at 4/7 for Best Actor at the Oscars after last night’s Golden Globe win. He was 3/1 earlier on this weekend.

What are the reviews for Bohemian Rhapsody?

Critics have generally praised the film for its representation of the tragic star but some have been less than impressed.

Bohemian Rhapsody was directed by Bryan Singer, most famous for his role at the helm of the X-Men franchise.

The director ultimately took on a difficult task, backed by Brian May and Roger Taylor, who had been holding rights until they deemed it right to make the film.

His final product ultimately came under heavy scrutiny, from mega fans of the singer himself, and seasoned film critics.

Kim Hughes of Original-Cin gave the highest rated review of the film, praising it as ‘perfect’, and providing a score of 100 out of 100 on film review aggregator Metacritic.

She said: “You will not see a more perfect and imperfect rock and roll biopic than Bohemian Rhapsody, which does many things extremely well, other things sort of average, and one thing flawlessly: capturing the immense charisma and panache of Queen singer Freddie Mercury.”

READ MORE: What movie won best picture at the Golden Globes?

Hollywood Reporter critic Sheri Linden agreed, hailing the film as a success despite some “clunky” parts, scoring it a 70.

She said: “This is a biopic that favors sensory experience over exposition. It understands what pure, electrifying fun rock ‘n’ roll can be.”

Other reviewers still praised the film overall, but were less complimentary and at times saw the biopic as run-of-the-mill.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman was one of these people, scoring the film a distinctly average 50 out of 100.

He said: “The movie, despite its electrifying subject, is a conventional, middle-of-the-road, cut-and-dried, play-it-safe, rather fuddy-duddy old-school biopic, a movie that skitters through events instead of sinking into them.”

The Observer’s Simran Hans drew out the different audiences the film was playing to; those searching for a reliable construction of Mercury’s tragic life, and those in for the classic Queen hits.

She said: “Fans of the band might enjoy watching the movie cycle through their hits (and there are many), but those, like me, hoping for a more robust appraisal of the late Freddie Mercury may find themselves disappointed.”

READ MORE: Rami Malek thanks Freddie Mercury at Golden globes speech

Some of the most well-known reviewers were less than pleased with the film.

New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott scored the film a low 30, on the premise of the film’s “melodrama.

He said the film was “a baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama, the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible.”

Consequence of Sound’s Blake Goble gave the most damning review of the film, awarding just 25 points to the work.

He said: “Bohemian Rhapsody is another lame music biopic, and its failures ultimately lie in the poor creative choices, the gutless approaches to potentially explosive events in the life of this band.”

READ MORE: Bohemian Rhapsody wins BOTH big Golden Globe awards


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