I just watched Bohemian Rhapsody for the 2nd time and I truly love it more than the first time. I can’t wait to watch it for the third time. I’ve been a Queen fan since I was a little girl. My uncles were teenagers when Queen was at its most popular so it was playing around our house all the time in the 70’s and 80’s. I naturally gravitated to the sound of Freddie Mercury’s voice.
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When I heard that Bohemian Rhapsody was being made I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I was afraid that the movie wouldn’t live up to the legacy. I mean, let’s be honest, Freddie Mercury was a rock icon and a one of a kind talent. Expectations were high. To mess this up was to fail epically. I couldn’t risk the ruin but to be able to see his story told honestly and genuinely with his vocals as the soundtrack, it could be magical and it was.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
That was the “official synopsis” but I have to tell you, the movie exceeded my expectations. I was worried that the Freddie Mercury story was going to be told in a way that would ruin the internationally beloved star’s legacy but instead, I feel, Rami Malek played the perfect Freddie Mercury. He was endearing and humble while at the exact same time being gauche and larger than life, much as I believe Mercury was.
Variety critic, Owen Gleiberman, described Malek’s frontman as “a studded leather peacock, swoony and liberated, letting the life force pour out of him in a glorious tremolo, most extraordinarily during the film’s climactic sequence”.
There are lukewarm reviews that criticized the Queen biopic for being the victim of straightwashing the Freddie Mercury story but I didn’t get that impression at all. I felt like it told his story in a way that made him human and vulnerable in the most human ways. I felt like I got a peek behind the mask of the public, eccentric persona of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, to see the man, Farrokh Bulsara. I loved every moment of it.
On a very molecular level, Bohemian Rhapsody showed us the connection we all feel to Freddie Mercury, the human condition. This movie shows us that in the end, people are what matter and if you have a gift, share it with the world. Love. Let yourself be loved. Be you.
For me, Bohemian Rhapsody is truly a must see. In my case, it’s a see…over and over again. Queen and Freddie Mercury made more than music, they made legends.
Bohemian Rhapsody is available on DVD today, February 12! Get your copy and watch it with a good sound system. You won’t be able to stop singing along.