The band Queen never appealed to me to the extent where I would say I loved them…or even really liked them.
They had several songs I liked quite a bit, a few that I didn’t mind and some that I would tolerate because I was too lazy to change the station or switch to another song.
On my radio program (Friday nights from 7pm-10pm on 97.3 FM – FlaglerBeachRadio.com) I throw in a Queen song every now and then because I know that there are listeners out there who really enjoy them.
With all that being said, I will now tell you that the movie Bohemian Rhapsody is a must see not only for those who have a Queen tattoo, but for the casual fan as well.
The hard-core Queen fans will love it no matter what I say about it, so I’m really directing this review at those who think “That’s the band with the gay guy who sang that song from Wayne’s World, right?”
Right. That’s who they are, but there’s a lot more to their story and Bohemian Rhapsody shows it by going far beyond another “rockumentary”.
It’s not done in the style of an A&E “tell-all”. There’s no grainy backstage footage overdubbed by a monochromatic voice describing the highs and lows of the band, and there are no interviews with groupies, roadies or record company execs revealing the band’s best-kept secrets.
What you get, instead, is a movie.
If you had never heard of Queen before, you would think it was a movie about a fictitious band from England who struggled to make it and eventually did. Naturally, they have setbacks and stumbling blocks, but the picture is so well made that you find yourself getting lost in the story regardless of your opinion and knowledge of the band and its history.
Naturally, the story revolves around charismatic front man Freddie Mercury and the way he took the band from total obscurity to superstardom nearly overnight.
I assume (although I could be wrong) that some of this was exaggerated to make things more interesting, either way…it’s a gripping rags-to-riches story.
The acting is near flawless, led by a brilliant performance by Rami Malek as Mercury. At times you are convinced you’re actually watching Mercury.
The casting for the other band members is also well done to the point where actor Gwilym Lee could actually pass for Brian May.
I have read other reviews which panned Bohemian Rhapsody on the grounds that the writers tip-toed around Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and his contraction of AIDs.
I disagree with those reviews.
I think the matter was handled well. As you watch the movie you are well aware of what’s going on in Mercury’s life without being subjected to gratuitous sex scenes.
Finally, there is the music.
As I stated earlier, I have never been a huge fan of the band’s music, but after watching the movie and getting a better feel for the band as four guys from England, as opposed to the members of one of the biggest rock bands of the 70s, I am going to re-examine their music with a more open ear.
I’m pretty sure I won’t regret it.
One final thought…don’t wait for Rhapsody to be released on DVD or NetFlix…see it on the big screen.
It’s well worth it.
As always – thank you for reading