Top 10 Bohemian Rhapsody Moments
"Don't stop me now! I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball."
Any way the wind blows, these scenes were MAGNIFICO. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Bohemian Rhapsody Moments."
We're looking at the best scenes from the Queen biopic, regardless of their historical accuracy. We're basing our choices on musical energy, powerful acting and the overall feeling that each moment delivered to audiences. This covers the entire movie, so SPOILER ALERT.
Just as Queen is gaining momentum, the BBC asks them to mime their performance on Top of the Pops to a playback track. They’re assured that audiences won’t know the difference; but as Brian May points out, QUEEN will know. You can see Freddie getting ideas right away, even before Mary suggests that he’ll have to keep the camera’s focus off his lips. He certainly manages to do so, thanks to his extra tight pants and shenanigans with a microphone stand. The band’s protests and hijinks are hilarious, while also showing their sense of brotherhood early on the film.
With Queen reeling from bad press over their "I Want To Break Free" video, Freddie tells the band that he’s decided to go solo. Initially, Mercury rants and mutters and puffs on his cigarette to avoid spilling his guts. Rami Malek beautifully captures Freddie's inner conflict, along with many of his mannerisms, too. The band’s troubled chemistry is palpable, with each actor nailing their characters and Freddie’s smug personal manager, Paul Prenter, lurking villainously in the background. Mercury goes on to attack all of his bandmates and throws a particularly venomous jab at John Deacon. The whole fight is a beautiful mess thanks to their believable bickering and well-defined characters.
Local rock band smile puts on a decent show... but something is missing. After their singer quits, Mercury wows Brian and Roger in an audition, and dominates the stage singing "Keep Yourself Alive." There's a raw energy to their performance as Freddie throws himself into the song, and although his lyrical changes frustrate Brian, the audience is clearly in love. All the tension on stage keeps the scene exciting, since it seems like the band might fall apart at any time. "Keep Yourself Alive" is an electric debut for Queen and shows how explosive they can become with Freddie on vocals.
As Freddie and Mary watch Queen perform "Love of My Life" at Rock in Rio, you can see how touched Mercury is at the crowd’s reaction. It’s a moment of poignant intimacy, because Mary can tell that something is wrong. When Freddie uses the song to open up about his bisexuality, Mary counters matter-of-factly that he’s gay. Mary's "I Love You But..." speech is heartbreaking to watch, and opens viewers up to her side of their romance. Though Malek's acting is superb, Lucy Boynton really drives this emotional breakup.
After his seemingly orgasmic reaction to "Bohemian Rhapsody" turns into a groan, record executive Ray Foster slams the track for being too long. In response to his disappointment, Mercury fires back that Foster's wife must be suffering if six minutes seems like “forever.” Mike Myers' performance as Ray gets particularly meta when he insists that "Bohemian Rhapsody" isn't a song kids will bang their heads to. The irony is too rich for fans of Wayne's World, while the song's fame carries the joke on its own. Though their earlier meeting with Foster puts Queen at his mercy, Foster's inability to control the band this time displays their faith in their music.
When Brian gets Roger, John, and even their wives to clap along to this simple beat, they’re more amused than convinced. Mercury responds with his usual saucy humor, but May insists that this is a song for the crowd to play with them. The clever cuts between the studio recording and thousands of fans clapping along immediately shows just how right he is. Shots of feet stomping and audio of the crowd filling in vocals underscores the song’s infectious rhythm and melody. Along with some goofy Queen studio banter, this scene does a great job at reminding us why "We Will Rock You" works so well.
Roger is ready to punch Freddie in the face when he declares that Queen is “whatever [he] says it is.” John cuts the tension with a killer bass hook however, and the whole band rallies behind it. Mercury reads the familiar opening lines to "Another One Bites the Dust," which inspires Jim "Miami" Beach to loudly accept his new role as manager. Shots of Mercury exploring the club scene double down on the disco energy of the track and its smoky qualities as well. By serving as both a musical and a narrative moment, "Another One Bites the Dust" keeps the film moving.
With the AIDS crisis dominating the news, Freddie decides to see a doctor to get answers. As he stares hopelessly into nothing, Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” drives home Mercury’s new sense of mortality. We watch Freddie learn that he has AIDS in a gut-wrenching close-up, in which the doctor is reflected in sunglasses to keep the focus on Freddie, as his voice gradually fades into the background. Freddie's "Ay-Oh" with a sick teen only pulls of the heartstrings harder, in a movie moment that’s emotionally on point.
When Freddie returns to his old piano melody, you can see how excited he is to finally record "Bohemian Rhapsody." Soon, Brian May is shredding through the solo, but Mercury demands that he throw his body into it. A rooster seems to sing the first “Galileo” before Roger is pushed to sing his harmony even higher. Each member cuts in with jokes at each other's expense while Freddie keeps saying he loves them. Queen also gets so excited by the huge guitar drop that they knock over all their soundproofing. "Bohemian Rhapsody" stands as a unique recording scene in the film thanks to all the chaos and enthusiasm behind the music.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Freddie's Redemption: "Under Pressure"
- "Fat Bottomed Girls" Tour Montage
- The 20th Century Fox Cover
Queen goes through so much struggle to get back together that Mercury's first piano note at Live Aid feels triumphant. The film perfectly recreates details, like Freddie playing with levels and shouting out to the crowd. The audience's clapping, jumping, and ecstatic joy are all on display. Additional shots of Mercury's family and friends up the emotional ante of the moment, too. Along with the great back-and-forth of the Ay-Ohs, the crowd reflected in Freddie's eyes is a masterful representation of his love for performing. The cinematic scope that the Live Aid scene adds with each pose and stadium shot sends Bohemian Rhapsody off on a high note.