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Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

Bohemian Rhapsody: Legends Never Die

The new "Bohemian Rhapsody" movie premiered last week about the band Queen and its frontman, pictured here, Freddie Mercury. Photo provided by Wikipedia Commons.
The new "Bohemian Rhapsody" movie premiered last week about the band Queen and its frontman, pictured here, Freddie Mercury. Photo provided by Wikipedia Commons.

My mother, who has always been a music lover, introduced me to Queen at the age of six. I remember being so small and excited when she taught me how to do the “stomp, stomp, clap” of “We Will Rock You,” so as for the recently released “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie, I was quite literally hanging on the edge of my seat.

First and foremost, a round of applause to Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury and did him every bit of justice. Malek killed it. He had so much passion in playing his character, and it shined through in every scene of this movie. He portrayed not only Mercury’s raw and passionate rock side but also his sensitive side, both of which aren’t easy to replicate. There is no other actor who could have played this role any better in my opinion.

And of course, another round to Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello and Gwilym Lee, who all played the other members of Queen so well.

The music, to no surprise, was astounding. According to an article by Thrillist Entertainment, Malek’s voice was not used in the songs, but rather the vocals were a mix of Mercury’s studio recordings mixed with the vocals of a Canadian singer, Marc Martel, whose voice has an uncanny resemblance to Mercury’s.

Either way, I was amazed by how great the tracks sounded. During the duration of the movie, I was highly anticipating each and every song and performance. In this area, this movie did not disappoint.

In addition, the ending scene, which almost exactly replicates Queen’s Live Aid performance in 1985, was the closest that I’ll ever get to a Queen concert, and for that, I give my sincere thanks to the producers, actors and the rest of the movie creators. It truly was astonishing and felt as life-like as a movie concert could, even down to the audience’s participation.

As for the storyline, I was not a fan. I know this story was a hard one to tell as Freddie Mercury was a legendary individual whose one-of-a-kind authenticity will likely never be matched. It is even more difficult to fit a story of someone’s life and career into a two-hour movie, but there was just something wrong. It was like something felt missing. The movie just felt messy. They never focused too much on any topic, whether it was Mercury’s sexuality, the band’s arguments or Mercury’s relationships with others. They gave a slight tease, then left it alone.

Most of the movie was spent following Queen creating and producing their albums and performing various songs, which I wasn’t upset about, but nothing ever got deep enough to make me feel any sort of similar emotion to the characters, truthfully. I would have rather them left out certain aspects of the movie to better focus on the ones that truly mattered, like Mercury’s discovery of his sexuality or the truth as to what happened during the band’s supposed break-up. There were just some scenes that, to me, were nearly pointless and could have been left out to better portray other aspects of Queen and Mercury’s story.

However, my greatest disappointment was the fact that the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” was never played in full. The movie, lasting a whopping two hours and 13 minutes, couldn’t use six of those minutes to play one of Queen’s greatest and most famous songs, not to mention the fact that the movie is also named after the song. Although most of the song was played during the movie in various spouts at random times and the Live Aid recreation had about three minutes of it, I just wasn’t pleased.

All in all, I’m glad I got to see a little into the life of Queen and Freddie Mercury and hear some of their greatest hits. Seeing the story of a band I’ve loved since a young age was exciting, and I am glad I got to experience it. However, I’m not sure if this is a movie I’ll likely rewatch, but hey, “Another One Bites the Dust.”


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