Roger, there’s only room in this band for one hysterical queen.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. It is a biographical film in 2018, directed by Bryan Singer, starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton and Gwilym Lee. The story begins by introducing Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the classic British rock band “Queen”, how he works at the Heathrow Airport as a young teenager, and meets the three other members of Queen at a pub and eventually forms the band after a series of ups and downs, and together create a number of masterpieces that win the heart of the world.
Among all the rock and roll bands back in the 70s and 80s in the world, Queen was definitely in the top 5. Even if you have never heard of the name of the band, or have the slightest clue of the band members, you must have heard a few of their masterpieces. Up until today, songs like “We will rock you” and “We are the champions” are still often played everywhere; radio, shops, supermarkets, TVs, shopping malls etc.
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody is like a music album, it embodies many different popular songs by Queen, the movie also looks at its succeed from the perspective of the legendary lead singer Freddie Mercury. The movie uses many different references and songs to capture the heart of the fans, even for me, who is not a fan of Queen, could still feel the magic and charisma of the band, and I was blown away by how hard Freddie Mercury worked to get to where he was.
Having said that, the first half of the storyline in the movie was presented rather weak for me as an audience. Although the development of the band is very exciting and satisfying, the movie does not investigate enough into the relationship between Freddie and his three other members, resulting in a lower level of storytelling, which lacks the tension that a movie should have. Fortunately at the second half of the movie it refocuses back on Freddie and the band itself, which is the most interesting part of the movie for me.
For people like me who is not a fan of Queen, we only know that Freddie Mercurry was an extraordinary artist and performer and we barely look into the personal life of him. In the movie, the way Rami Malek plays Freddie is extremely well executed, from the relationship between him and his members, his personal life, his sexuality, his illness of Aids to the pressure he gets from the public, Rami Malek manages to act exactly as if what a super star would do.
On a personal level, I liked the interactions between Freddie and other characters. How Freddie talks to Mary from across the building and his overnight talks with Jim Hutton, all of these represent what a caring person Freddie is. To me, the more the movie presents the struggle and hardship of Freddie in his personal life, the better it highlights how talented Freddie is in music and performing. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why “Bohemian Rhapsody” was chosen to be the title of the movie. Just like Freddie Mercury’s bold, creative, innovative style, Bohemian Rhapsody is a six-minute song that combines many different elements, from the high pitch voice at the beginning, followed by a gentle voice then the solo of the electronic guitar, then the opera effect by the four members and then back to rock and roll and finish off with a gentle ending, all of these elements give a feeling to the audience as if they are being brought to a fantasy. Although the song was seen as mediocre at the time, the song itself isn’t restrained by any generation and stands a very unique place even in today’s world. The song might seem very confusing and difficult to understand, but at the same times it creates infinity rooms for us as audience to interpret it in different ways and I guess this is the magic of music, and Queen.
Overall, I personally enjoyed the movie very much, practically in the last part where Queen performs on the stage at Live Aid, not only it brings the fans to the best phase of the band, it also brings the four members back to the stage and perform together as if this is the last performance for them. The spirit of Freddie Mercury made him one of the greatest artists that have ever lived, and the spirts of the four members made Queen one of the best and most popular bands in the world. The movie never plays the full version of the song Bohemian Rhapsody, but coming to think of it, the title of the song also never appears in the lyrics neither, perhaps this is another way for the movie to dedicate to Queen and the fans as a tribute.