By Gabrielle Smith
Arts & Entertainment Editor
On Nov. 2, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit theaters. The movie follows the story of the famous British rock band Queen and their unique frontman Freddie Mercury, portrayed by Rami Malek. The film begins with a young Freddie, then known as Farrokh Bulsara, an individual who is full of confidence, going off to see Smile, a local band he had been following, play a show at his university.
During that night, he also meets Mary Austin, a saleswoman at a boutique store, who becomes his longtime girlfriend, best friend and number one supporter. After the show, he finds two members of Smile in the parking lot. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor were sitting in their van, stressed because their lead singer had just quit, when Freddie approaches them.
When Freddie suggests that he should be their new singer, Taylor scoffs at him, making a comment about his large, noticeable overbite. Freddie, unfazed by this comment, sings for them to which they respond with shock and silence.
This is the start of Queen and they set out on the road to stardom with Freddie behind the wheel. They recruit bass player John Deacon and play shows all over London. Realizing they need to take the next step, Freddie suggests they sell their van and use the money to record an album. Their album takes off; the movie shows the next 15 years of Queen’s career and Freddie Mercury’s life.
At one point, at a potential management opportunity, they are asked, “What makes Queen so special?” Freddie replies with, “We’re four misfits who don’t belong together playing for other misfits, the outcasts right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.” This sets up what kind of band Queen is going to be and shows how they care about both the music and the fans.
Throughout the movie, Queen’s different, popular and well-known songs are developed and come to life; no song is the same. Songs such as “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Under Pressure” and many more are explained as to how they came to be.
Along the way, Freddie begins to question his sexuality. Although he is known for his flamboyant and overly-passionate stage performances, he doesn’t admit to himself or to his fiancée Mary that he is bisexual until years after Queen’s career has taken off.
The movie gives insight to moments throughout Queen’s history, including the long creation of their first number one song in the UK “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
It also elaborates on the 1985 live television event at Live Aid, a fundraising concert with a set list of many popular bands at the time. It is recognized that out of all the bands, each with the same 20 minutes of stage time, Queen’s performance and Freddie’s way of pulling in the audience stole the show.
This is a miraculous movie whether those who go see it are longtime Queen fans or have never heard of them. Rami Malek nailed it when it came to playing Freddie Mercury. His looks, mannerisms, the way he talked and danced—it’s like watching someone who died 20 years ago come to life again. Of course, some of the movie is exaggerated for dramatic cinema purposes, such as the band splitting up temporarily, which fortunately never happened.
Queen changed the music industry between the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Those who followed Queen’s rise to fame get to relive the experience from a closer view and millennials, who were babies at the time, are able to go back in time when watching this movie.
It’s a rollercoaster of a film with never a dull moment that people of all ages are sure to love.