Queen was a band that existed from the nineteen seventies all the way through to the eighties consisting of four members: John Deacon, Brian May, Robert Taylor, and the irreplaceable Freddie Mercury. Their music is still used and played on the radio, at stadium events, and movies. Queen came from humble beginnings, but aspired for more and never shied from away being ostentatious with their music, or, in Freddie’s case, presentation. Sadly, we lost Freddie in nineteen ninety one, but his story does live on through his music and through this film. Does this biography portray this legendary band in the best light?
Before and after watching this film, I have seen and heard articles and opinions that the film does not properly portray Freddie’s sexuality. I cannot attest to the validation of the claims since I am not up to date with the intimate history of Queen or its members. The only opinion that I can give is one solely looking at the film in and of itself. While I am not asking you to disregard the real life history of the group, the only thing that I ask is that you not perceive me as doing just that as you read my article. I hope that you understand and enjoy my review of Bohemian Rhapsody.
We start with Farrokh Bulsara at his day job as luggage boy at the local airport, but at night follows an indie band pulling a gig at fraternity. Once having to prove his vocals worthy of looking past posthumous over bite, the seeds of greatness are sewn, and it will only be a matter of time. Freddie is introduced to his first taste of being an entertainer, but it is not enough for him. After landing a manager, Freddie, now Mercury, and Queen create their first hit single, but Freddie doesn’t want to rest on one success. The group begins the track that would be infamous for being six minutes long with lyrics that very few people would understand, but would become one of their greatest hits, sixteen years after they wrote it.
Bohemian Rhapsody was obviously rejected since no respected radio at the time would go over three minutes runtime. The producer wouldn’t play the song saying that no one would ever remember or hear the song; joke is on him. Through this adversity and grown prowess, the group creates other memorable songs that we still play today: We Will Rock You, Another One Bites the Dust, Fat Bottom Girls, and so many more. They secluded themselves from the world, but they grew closer as a family. They grow in name and in fame, but it not enough for the upstart band.
Freddie had planned to spend his time between the love of his life Mary and the ever increasing fame of Queen, but a lingering want creeps into Freddie’s mind that never leaves him. This want eventually split Mary and him apart, but did not become a wedge between them. Freddie struggles with his sexuality at first, but comes to accept it with the help of what would be his lifelong friend Mary. The division truly began between the two was with Freddie’s ambition. That same ambition is what ultimately separated Queen around the turn of the decade. Freddie went onto his solo career with his lover Paul, but also began his descent.
Parties, drinking, and drugs finally landed Freddie with the independence he crave, but with none of the family that he needs in his life. After reuniting with Mary, Freddie comes to his senses, and realizes that Paul has been taking advantage of him all these years. After hearing of Live Aid, a charity concert event to raise money for the starving people in Africa, Freddie makes it his mission to reunite with his old band mates. At first, the band does take the piss, and makes Freddie sweat it out, but the group does accept him with open arms. Shortly after though, Freddie would be devastated by shattering news.
Mercury discovered that he had contracted AIDS, now he asks that his family not to cry for him or show him sympathy, but just to live, and play their best. The rest is history, Queen went to perform at Live Aid, and helped reach the requested donation amount. As said before, I cannot hold any persons word as truth if they said the movie stayed true to its source material, but I have a few things to say about the film that I liked, and fewer things that I did not like after the my viewing. I like that Freddie’s sexuality isn’t THE focus of his character, but it did present him with obstacles and life decisions. I also appreciate seeing a healthy relationship between a non heterosexual male and a heterosexual female set in the nineteen seventies.
Now to the very small things that I did not like about the film. The ending needed to be cut down a good five to ten minutes. I love all the songs they played at the Live Aid sequence, but it did drag out a little too much to the point of exhaustion from the emotional high I was in at that moment. Some eras in the bands career did feel skimmed over as well. The band skyrocketing from simple, unknown indie band to rock star legends.
The biggest gripe that I do have is that the film does feel the same as other rock star rise, fall, and rise again story. It did feel a little safe, but it is typical of a real life rock stars that they are done in by sex, drugs, or their own ego. Overall, a good movie in and of itself. I cried, and I laughed with the people on screen, go see it.