Bohemian Rhapsody strikes the heart
Queen was formed in the 1970s and has since been a part of every generation’s culture. Even if you don’t know the name of the band or its members, you know that high-pitched “Galileo!” from Bohemian Rhapsody or the iconic beat that leads into We Will Rock You. Countless groups and teams have celebrated wins with We Are The Champions; we’ve hummed the melody of Love Of My Life and I Want To Break Free.
So with a following like that, a loyalty that strong… How do you follow through? How do you not fall flat on your face when you decide to create a movie about Freddie Mercury, about the band and their music? The music that has spoken and given a voice to millions? How do you do justice to all of that?
The answer: Make an incredible movie and pay respect to the inspiration behind it.
Like most films, Bohemian Rhapsody had a lot of hype leading to its premiere. After all, it’s about Freddie Mercury and Queen. But a lot of hype means there is a long way to fall as well. And there is this little claim made by the movie’s tagline, “The only thing more extraordinary than their music is his story,” which is definitely reaching for the stars.
The plot follows Freddie Mercury’s life, his lovers, his dependency, his failures and his sickness. We’re introduced to the woman who kept him upright, the man who put him down and the reason why he rose to the challenge time and time again. But the truth is that you’re tuned into the story more so because it gives you a look at the group’s dynamic. You see how they challenged one another to become the legends that they eventually became, you see how they pushed each other to grow and how they weren’t afraid to say, “Your song doesn’t make sense.” You witness how they recognized greatness and blatantly refused for anything less.
So yes, the story is extraordinary, but it isn’t just his—and it isn’t more than their music.
The plot itself, while worthy of being told, is not necessarily meant for the big-screen. What does make the movie pay-worthy is the concerts that it imitates and the movement of Freddie Mercury that Rami Malek has perfected almost to a tee. You feel as if you’re part of the audience, watching Queen perform on stage in the best and possibly most comfortable concert seat there is.
You won’t notice yourself starting to mouth the words and you won’t feel yourself starting to stomp your feet, but you will because you can’t help it. It’s the effect of their music and its power to hold you down. There’s something in the in-between moments that capture you and you’re stuck in awe.
If you haven’t seen the film, watch it. And get ready for the goosebumps to slither down your arm because Bohemian Rhapsody, to use the film’s words, is Almost Everything.
Art Alexandra Lara