Next Wednesday: Bohemian Rhapsody – with a roster of superb concert recreations – is hugely enjoyable

After the much-publicised troubles that have beset this movie, it comes as a pleasant surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody is such a fun ride, with a roster of superb concert recreations, including Life Aid – where Queen gave what many consider the greatest rock performance of all time. 

Steering clear of the darker side of Freddie Mercury’s life, Rami Malek’s impersonation has been rightly applauded, but Gwilym Lee is just as good (and arguably more convincing) as Bryan May. Along with Ben Hardy on drums and Joseph Mazzello on bass, they charge through a potted history of Queen, taking pit stops along the way to blast out the hits. Those seeking the grit of ‘Slade in Flame’ or David Essex’s world-weary ‘Stardust’ need look elsewhere, but this camp, family-friendly romp is nevertheless hugely enjoyable.

It takes extraordinary liberties with the facts of the case, bowdlerises Mercury’s greater extravagances, and teeters perilously close to self-parody, but to paraphrase the great man himself, this isn’t real life, this is just fantasy. More an affectionate obituary (May and Taylor were executive producers) than a steely eyed biography, it’s a film that justly celebrates a much loved, and much missed, man – so what if it’s an escape from reality?

By David Vass