Bohemian Rhapsody: The Film Everyone's Talking About

By Olivia Morel

 

As a person with limited knowledge on the music from Queen, I left the cinema feeling as though I was an expert. Not only does the film promise the audience to listen to the bands infamous hits including Killer Queen, Radio Gaga and, of course, the film’s title: the sensational number 1 hit (16 years after its first release) Bohemian Rhapsody, but also a more personal insight into the complicated life of the front star, Freddie Mercury. The audience was left simultaneously enchanted by the impact of the vocals and songs, but also heartbroken by the details of the more tragic side to the story beneath the surface.

 

The film takes us back to the beginning, giving the audience a chronological picture of Mercury’s journey from the “frightened Paki boy” to the history making pop legend. We learn about Freddie’s home days and his controversial not always eye to eye relationship he’d had with his family: particularly with his father. As we come to see, Freddie surprises everyone with his lust for life and unconditional passion for music and performing. It is, of course, after the night he meets his fellow band mates for the first time that his life changes forever and music history is made. This union occurred on night in a local club, as a small and incomplete band called ‘Smile’ took to the stage, who took Mercury on, then to form the bad as we know them to be.

It was a joy to see the evolution of both Mercury and Queen, and the close relationship they formed along the way. We were able to see the inspiration that came behind the formation of their songs; “We will Rock You” for example created to give the audience something they feel they could perform.

What we also take away from the film is Mercury’s sheer humanity, and desire to be a strong voice to the voiceless. He represents everything there is in a beacon of hope, a figure for the lost to find solitude. There is a rawness to his voice, both with and without the help of music. Perhaps this is the quality that makes him so well remembered and inspirational, also considering the fact that the 70s was a less accepting social time.

By the end of the film, we feel as though we know all there is to know about the life of Queen and Mercury, as well as the challenges they went through to create their musical identity. Despite their pitfalls, the band manage to stay united and play until the (literal) end as a true “family”.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a film that offers the whole package. Rami Malik’s stunning performance as the man himself successfully takes the audience of Mercury’s whirlwind of a journey as, not just a musician and homosexual diva, but as a real human being with a relatable and real life. It is the first time modern day viewers experience Mercury (and Queen) behind the simultaneous colourful and confused image.