Daniel Nester in Barrelhouse:
I’ve never cried to “We Are The Champions.”
I’ve never cried to “We Are The Champions,” that is, until watching Rami Malek, playing the role of Freddie Mercury, reenact its performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. The song appears after a series of life events so dramatic it could give a telenovela a run for its money. Band fights abound. Mercury’s solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, tanks (total U.S. sales around 100,000). Managers summarily are fired. Freddie enters an AIDS clinic to get his test results.
To hear and see “Champions” on screen at Live Aid after all that Sturm and Drang, the first and only time the song is performed in the film, just broke me. Along with everyone in the theatre, I’d gone through the Freddie Mercury stations of the cross after two hours and change, and it occurred to me that, despite historical errors both minor and glaring along the way, despite reading reviews so over-the-top negative you would think they were reviewing actual Queen albums and not a biopic of its lead singer, and despite knowing this movie would represent an attempt to tell the story of Freddie Mercury in all its shapeshifting, codeswitching, gender-bending and globetrotting glory, I needed to keep my shit together.
More here. [Thanks to Asad Raza.]