HIS life’s journey took him from baggage handler at Heathrow Airport to iconic frontman. And he was a shy young man struggling to find his place among his Zoroastrian family before he was better known for his flamboyant life of excess.

The remarkable Freddie Mercury – born Farrokh Bulsara – was many things to many people during his band Queen’s rise to the top.

And it is thanks to an excellent performance by Mr Robot’s Rami Malek that director Bryan Singer – in consultation with Brian May and Roger Taylor – has been able to capture that musical genius.

Bohemian Rhapsody – the Golden Globe winner for Best Picture – takes us from the beginnings of Queen and college hall concerts in 1970 to their legendary Live Aid show of 1985 before his decline from HIV/AIDS.

Artistic licence is applied here and there with the chronology and some fans may have preferred a darker, grittier movie which delved more into Mercury’s lifestyle and notorious parties. Singer’s film also glosses over the singer’s early years.

But what we have instead is an inspiring, albeit slightly sugar-coated, story about Mercury’s musical genius and persona which defied expectation and industry pressure at a time when the quasi-operatic Bohemian Rhapsody was frowned upon. Mercury is very much at the centre of this tale as you might expect but the film also shows how the performer needed Queen as much as Queen needed him, as the band’s family dynamic and Mercury’s arguably misjudged solo career showed.

Also at the emotional core of the story is Mercury’s relationship with former partner Mary Austin which is handled very well.

The pair stayed very close even when Mercury came out of the closet and she remained the ‘love of my life’ as revealed in the film’s soul searching moments. Malek looks the absolute part as Mercury as do Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello as May, Taylor and John Deacon respectively.

We may have lost Mercury long ago but, as Bohemian Rhapsody shows, in a way legends never die.

RATING: 8/10