Countless hits. Millions of fans. An undying legacy. The British 1970s band Queen redefined classic rock with songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We are the Champions,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Queen’s music is not only still relevant among popular culture today, but it also comes with a powerful story.
Starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” finally brings Queen’s jaw-dropping story to the big screen.
Without a doubt, the film would have been incomplete without the incorporation of the rest of Queen’s members: Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello).
Admittedly, I had minimum knowledge on Queen and their story prior to watching the film. Of course, I knew a few major details given that my parents are big fans. Regardless, I did not know what to expect going into the theater.
This changed after watching the movie; I had been captivated by the story and was instantly yearning to learn more. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a film, and not every detail is 100% accurate. Yet, it beautifully captures the essence of Queen’s story, accurately depicting several major events and occurrences. “My favorite part of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was watching the Live Aid concert near the end of the film. The way it was filmed made me feel like I was at a concert, not a movie theater,” explained Sarah Hui ’20.
Malek openly revealed how challenging it was for him to take on the role of Freddie Mercury, whose legacy is valued by many. However, “[He] ultimately found himself channeling Mercury’s charismatic stage presence so much so that toward the end of shooting the film, he asked the costume designer to make his character another sequin leotard, this time in ruby red” (Npr.org). Many have praised Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury. Frankly, it is no surprise that he received an Oscar for his stellar enactment.
Although many critics and viewers have complained that “Bohemian Rhapsody” does not fully reveal Freddie Mercury’s entire story, Malek explained that “It’s never going to be perfect in fulfilling the story of a man who we could make countless documentaries about and countless miniseries about” (Smoothradio.com).
“Bohemian Rhapsody” highlights the many stereotypes Mercury destroyed through his music and his experiences. “He, and the band, they brought down every convention of what music should be and how human beings should act in public. He’s a revolutionary in that he just refused to be segregated or marginalized in any way,” said Malek.
There are several aspects of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that especially resonated with viewers. “The director, producers, and actors did a really great job in portraying Freddie Mercury’s life without being too intrusive and personal. My favorite part of the movie was seeing how perfectly each actor resembled their respective band member; the casting was extremely well done,” said Grace Risinger ’20. “Creating this film was the perfect way to honor and preserve both Freddie Mercury and Queen’s legacy, though it is idealized at times. Rami Malek was definitely the perfect actor for this part,” added Jackie Thomas ’20.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” has been named the “Now Highest-Grossing Music Biopic Ever,” as has attracted viewers from all ages and backgrounds. Since its release on Nov. 2nd, 2018, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has made approximately $401.2 million, prompting uproar among Queen fans everywhere.
Personally, the film not only exceeded my high expectations, but also helped me understand the true emotions and inspiration behind Queen’s songs.
Indeed, Queen has entered the spotlight once again, and it probably will not fade anytime soon.