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Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '86 - Review

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '86

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

QUEEN fans delight… months after the musical genius of Freddie Mercury was paid tribute to as part of the Olympics Closing Ceremony, they now have a re-issued – albeit fleeting – cinema release for the concert film, Hungarian Rhapsody.

Shot in Budapest in 1986 during the point at which Mercury and co were at the peak of their powers, this is essentially one long set that blasts through some of the best songs in their back catalogue.

What it does do, however, is serve potent reminder of why Mercury continues to be remembered as one of the greatest showmen on Earth. His energy is amazing, as is his voice. While his enthusiasm is utterly infectious.

And given the anthemic nature of so many of Queen’s hits, from Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You through to I Want To Break Free and We Are The Champions, you can’t help but be swept along at various points, even if you don’t actually own a Queen album.

The one minor criticism of the film is that it doesn’t offer enough behind-the-scenes insight. There are moments that enable each band member to reflect on their Hungarian experience, including Brian May hot air-ballooning and Mercury antique shopping, as well as a short documentary on the band’s 1986 Magic Tour. There’s even early newsreel footage building up to the gig itself.

But it would have applied the icing to this particular digitally re-mastered cake if there had been a few new extras.

That said, this is all about the music and the show and – like the 80,000 fans who roar their approval throughout – you should emerge on the other side suitably dazzled and impressed… even chomping at the bit to revisit (or go out and buy) some of the band’s past albums.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 119mins
UK Release Date: September 20, 2012