Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody
On Saturday night, my friend and I decided to go watch the popular movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I have heard a lot of talk about this movie, especially from my friends.
My friend had seen the movie the day it came out and he confessed the movie made him cry at certain points. The moment he revealed this, I felt inclined to watch the movie. I just didn’t know what to expect.
I have always been a fan of Queen, and I knew about Freddie Mercury’s sexuality, but I wasn’t aware of anything else. Even so, I went in blindly, and came out blind, too. Although, I was blind because of my tears. The movie made me cry, too.
Not only was the movie so well-made, but the actors were also amazing, and the music was stupendous. They used the perfect songs at the perfect times. The songs either helped you feel on top of the world or they increased your feelings of sadness.
Scenes in the movie touched my heart and squeezed it. I didn’t know if it was because of Rami Malek’s perfect acting or if I related to the scenes just a tad bit too much.
The movie follows the life of Farrokh Bulsara, also known as Freddie Mercury, and how he met his band mates and formed Queen.
The movie is extremely accurate when it comes to his early life. They mention details from his parents’ nationality to him taking piano lessons, being Zoroastrian, to having four supernumerary incisors. They even touch on the subject of Mercury being sent to a prestigious private school in order to be “corrected”.
When his ex-wife Mary Austin and her family come to visit him, his parents explain how they fled to England when Freddie was 17 due to safety concerns caused by the Zanzibar revolution. This statement is entirely true.
The movie shows Freddie being involved in Liverpool, but it didn’t mention all of his previous efforts to form a band. Although, the movie does start off with showing the audience his job at Heathrow airport. Also, the movie shows scenes of Mercury visiting his soon to be ex-wife at her job, Kensington Market, but it never mentioned how he worked for the organization for a while.
Throughout the movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody” shows Mercury’s relationship with his bandmates. They often fought and argued over songs, and many issues were often caused by Mercury’s own reckless behavior. In the end, though, they always seemed to pull through. The movie also touches on Freddie Mercury’s attempt at shooting off with a solo career; with little success and a lot of stress.
The movie also highlights Queen’s evolution along with the music genres and the decades. The band was known to involve a diverse amount of genres; from rock and roll to opera, to even disco, they covered everything.
The lyrics of their songs are complex, and this is portrayed in the scene when their music director claimed no one would like the song Bohemian Rhapsody due to it being “nonsense.”
Many live performances were also shown in the movie. As one can tell by even looking for a second, Mercury was flamboyant and dramatic, and he wanted everyone to know. His extravagant and extra performances seduced and convinced the audience to dance and sing along, something you could see in the film.
Not only does the movie focus on his issues with his bandmates, but it also highlights his internal and external issues. The film has scenes where Mercury struggles with his sexuality and turns to drugs, gay bars, and other toxic solutions. It focuses on his toxic relationship with a former coworker.
The scene where Mary reveals she knows about Mercury’s sexuality caused me to start to cry. The scene was so powerful, raw, and so emotional. It shows that although Mercury didn’t love her romantically, he still wanted her in his life. She was his one true friend.
The most powerful scene to me, in my opinion, was when Mercury confessed to his bandmates about the virus he has contracted. Around the last quarter of the movie, at the end of a practice session, he stops the three bandmates. He then proceeds to tell them he doesn’t have much time left.
The scene was so powerful and emotional and so well made. The actors’ tears made me weep with them. That same scene reminded me that members of the LGBT community still suffer from this incurable virus. A virus that weakens them and makes them susceptible to other illnesses.
Another scene that truly grabbed my heart and crushed it was when Freddie began playing the piano at the Live Aid performance. At first, he was hesitant, but after some seconds, the keys flowed and played the melody. You could see the passion and admiration in Brian May’s (played by Gwilym Lee) eyes and face. His eyes teared up and played so freely on his guitar.
You could see it. You could see that Mercury missed being on stage. You could see he belonged on that stage. It made me cry, tears running down my face, even.
Overall, the movie was stupendous. The movie was a constant reminder at the back of my mind that the LGBT community still faces discrimination. There are still some people hiding in fear, ashamed of who they are. There are still people out there who use unhealthy coping mechanisms to ignore their emotional issues.
Not only was the movie a memorial to the amazing British singer-songwriter, but it was also a memorial for any members of the LGBT community that might’ve died alone; it was a memorial for members of the LGBT community who died of disease(s) brought upon them by AIDS/HIV.
“When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance.”
This movie made me cry so many times. As a member of the LGBT community, I often found myself relating to Freddie. Freddie wasn’t a perfect man, and we all know this, but his music made him seem perfect. We couldn’t see that he was dying. We couldn’t see his pain. Still, even today, in 2018, he will always be loved by everyone.
Thank you for reading, everyone!