Bohemian Rhapsody Review
By Izzy Sutton
As a lover of all things Queen, this new movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, was absolutely amazing. Born after the British Invasion of the sixties, Queen shocked audiences around the world with their new sounds and musical creations. Any one of their songs has the capacity to get stuck in anyone’s head for hours on end. Based on their personal and musical history the director Bryan Singer created a great storyline to capture the band’s essence and legacy.
The plot follows the ups and downs of the London-based band and later focuses more specifically on the life of Freddie Mercury, the band’s wild and eccentric lead singer. The movie started by following Queen’s slow, but steady rise to fame. They started by playing small locations and slowly took over the music industry with their unique, upbeat rhythms. The movie includes classics like Killer Queen, Another One Bites the Dust, I Want to Be Free, and, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody. The director did a good job showing the range of musical capabilities and pure talent all the members possessed. Some of my favorite moments were watching the band create new beats. When John Deacon started playing the bass notes for Another One Bites the Dust, the sound radiated through the theater. The main reason I went to see the movie was to see the creation of the iconic music. Personally, I felt the beginning was very rushed. I would have loved to hear and see the band playing smaller venues. Adding a little more about the background of the band would have, in my opinion, better situated the plot to explain the later conflicts within the band.
Queen would have never been as popular as they were without the determination and charismas of its members, which the movie captures. From the hair to the accent, if you had never seen Brian May before, you would have been totally convinced it really was him jamming on the guitar on screen.
No one can leave the theater without remember the legacy of Freddie Mercury. The movie really emphasized Mercury’s passion for performing. It starts by showing his relationship-turned-lifetime-friendship with Mary Austin. While the movie captures his attraction to stardom, it also showcases the downsides of fame. Rami Malek, who plays Mercury, does a great job of capturing Freddie’s internal battle with embracing his true identity and keeping up his on-stage persona to the world. As one of the most famous openly gay performers during the seventies, the movie effectively shows the isolation Mercury must have felt during certain periods of his life. The movie shows the glamourous and not-so-glamorous of the lead singer’s crazy life. Sadly, in 1991 Freddie Mercury died due to tuberculosis caused by his AIDS. Even though I already knew this going in, I still found myself saddened when he announced his diagnosis.
The movie ends with one of the band’s final performances at Live Aid. Watching the movie and the actual footage from the concert shows what an amazing performer Freddie Mercury was. In an age without pyrotechnics and voice-altering devices, it’s worth taking a look at what he was able to do. He truly had the capabilities to wrap audiences around his finger. As one of the only gay performers in the popular music scene during the seventies, Malek’s performance totally captured the spirit and determination of the lead singer. The legacy of Queen really shows that there is not one clear way to interpret their music, but rather everyone brings their experience, and that’s a wonderful thing. Overall, this movie was so unique and well done, it made me wish the movie industry would start creating more of these types of movies. Personally, I am curious to see if anyone could capture the essence of Mick Jagger…