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"Bohemian Rhapsody" Will Rock You

By Laura Buchanan
On December 6, 2018

"Bohemian Rhapsody" will spark a love for Queen in a new generation.
Photo Courtesy of Nerdist

It would be difficult to find somebody who has not heard the music of Queen. The legendary band pushed the envelope of music by exploring new mixtures of sounds and vocal ranges they proudly boasted did not incorporate synthesizers.

Queen began their royal reign of music in 1971, and their career took off on an explosive ride that nobody could have predicted, except for the four members of the band who were optimistic about the need for their style of music.

Forty-one years later, Queen has been brought back to life through the big screen release of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The movie title is taken from their six-minute musical arrangement that was released as a single in 1975, a song that was too long to be played on the radio and yet found its way to the airways nonetheless. The song not only captures their originality but their diversity in musical arrangement and sound. It was truly like nothing that had ever been heard before.

As a fan of Queen, I am glad my first viewing was in a theater with surround sound. Hearing songs such as “We Will Rock You,” “Somebody to Love,” “Fat Bottom Girls,” and so many other great Queen hits coming at you from all sides was an almost emotional experience. The energy and vocal and musical talent spewed from the speakers while the iconic images of Freddie Mercury danced across the stage. It is the closest one can get to a Queen concert. Few people in the audience found that they could keep their feet still as the rhythmic portion of “We Will Rock You” is played, and more than a few spectators found themselves singing the familiar lyrics of “We Are the Champions.”

Though the music was expectedly spectacular, the casting was just as brilliant. The actors that portrayed Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, and Freddie Mercury were spot-on. They are so close in resemblance that, at first glance, it is almost indistinguishable as to who is the actual band member and who is the actor. Rami Malek, who played the legendary lead singer, not only nailed the look but his mannerisms and voice, down to the iconic large front teeth. When the movie relives the Live Aid concert, it was easy to believe Freddie Mercury was really on the screen.

Aside from the period dress and perfect casting, there is the story itself. “Bohemian Rhapsody” takes you through Queen’s almost decade-long musical journey. You see everything from their rise to international recognition, to the fall of their empire. A connection to Freddie is slowly built throughout the movie, creating new understanding of many of the songs he wrote as well as realizing how alone he must have felt during the darker times in his life. It was heart-wrenching to watch his silent cry for help and need to be loved. Though the story was heavy at times, there is humor throughout. The emotional rollercoaster added to the realistic vibe of the film.

Initially, the music and journey is center-stage while a personal connection is formed with the band and its lead singer. Though Freddie’s life was a bit crazy at that time, the movie does not depict him in a negative light, but instead portrays the trials and tribulations as being an influence on the music. The audience gets to witness the complexities of a man struggling to understand his fame as well as coming to terms with his sexuality while discovering who his true friends and family really are.

If you are a Queen fan, this movie is a must see. If you are simply curious about the story behind the legendary band, I highly recommend viewing the movie as well. “Bohemian Rhapsody” will spark a new love for Queen’s music for a new generation while bringing back fond memories for the older sect.

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