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“Bohemian Rhapsody” Will Rock You (Movie Review)

The time has nearly come. The wait is almost over. Bohemian Rhapsody, the biographic musical film about Queen and Freddie Mercury, will be in theaters November 2. Nearly three decades after his death, the story of arguably the best vocalist to ever sing, is told under the watchful direction of surviving members Brian May and Roger Taylor. 

The story follows the once small-English-band’s path to international greatness, a story that cannot be told without emphasis on Freddie Mercury, its legendary lead singer. The plot is told with great care and attention to Mercury’s special qualities, including his adoration of cats. The audience learns of Freddie’s complicated relationship with his family, as well as how his ambiguous sexuality configured into his personal relationships. 

One of the most important features of the movie is that it highlights the integral roles of Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) in making the band a success. There was an emphasis on their individual relationships with Freddie, and how their talented feedback was kept the vocalist grounded and thus, at his best. 

Another impressive aspect of the film is how it almost immerses the audience into the crowd with the rest of the gawking fans. For young fans, it allows the small experience of the majesty of the live performance was really like. Historically, Queen was one of the first bands to invite the audience into their performance. There is a cinematic satisfaction to seeing the massive, roaring crowd responding to Freddie’s every call, like they were all playing an exclusive game. 

It is no small task to summarize the personality of a figure as large as Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek embodies his subject in the way he deserved to be; with dare, flair, and unapologetic genius. His performance captured Mercury as we remember, but also paid respect to his personal life. He was imperfect and not untouchable, despite his superstardom. 

Not all of his most exciting acts made it to the screen. As most recall, Freddie lived his life grandly and in excess of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. The film sustains a family-friendly narrative, making the choice to exclude events that can be covered by old tabloid magazines.   

Of course, it is healthy for all viewers to assume that some moments in the timeline were dramatized, or rearranged for the sake of the moving the story. This is in no way a movie to watch if you’re looking to check facts.

More accurately, Bohemian Rhapsody is a an ode to some of Queen’s most groundbreaking accomplishments, from deep cuts to iconic ballads. It emphasizes the courage in taking risks, and how ultimately a man being himself inspired an extraordinary performance of rock. 

The movie concludes with a graceful tribute to Freddie, in the way that his close friends and bandmates hope the audience remembers him.  

I must admit, that as a human with hearing ability, I am a Queen fan. If Freddie’s infectious personality does not drag you to the theaters, the prestigious soundtrack surely will.

 

The film’s soundtrack is now available on Spotify and Apple Music, which includes remastered and live Queen classics that are featured in the film. The film will hit theaters Friday, November 2nd!

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