Photo take from IMDb
Of all the rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, “Queen” has to be the most iconic and timeless. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” released in theaters on Nov. 2 and directed by Bryan Singer, is the perfect celebration of “Queen”- and lead singer Freddie Mercury’s career, spirit and legacy.
As the movie starts off, we see Freddie Mercury, portrayed by Emmy-winning actor Rami Malek, from behind: waking up, getting ready, exiting his trailer and finally stepping onstage in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans. We follow him through his rockstar routine – the glamour, the glory and the energy that comes with the gig. However, as the movie continues, we begin to see what lies behind the facade of this famed rockstar.
The movie does a fantastic job of stripping away the hype surrounding Freddie’s flamboyant stage persona to show the audience the more intimate, tumultuous parts of his life. We learn about his Parsi heritage and his insistence to break free of the rigid family values that have restricted his creativity. We watch him struggle with his sexuality and grapple with the prying eyes and questions of the media. Most of all, we see him fight against illness and figure out how to reconcile his mistakes and regrets.
Luckily, the movie isn’t all centered around Freddie’s struggles. The film also focuses on celebrating Freddie’s life and “Queen’s” music by providing snapshots of the band’s career. From mishaps and experimentation in the recording studio to risks in the rock industry, we learn about why “Queen’s” sound is so unique and why it has transcended several decades. By combining four vastly different people to make music, “Queen” shows that even misfits can find a place where they belong.
At the end of the movie, the audience finds themselves transported back to the beginning of the film- watching Freddie mount the stage in front of an enormous crowd. But this time, we see him from the front. We see everything through the lens of his experiences – what he’s been through, how far he’s come despite his struggles and how amazing his story really is from start to finish.
By delving into Freddie’s experiences, the film tackles the question that every person faces during their lives: Who do I want to be?
As clearly shown through Freddie’s rise to fame, a person’s upbringing or personal characteristics don’t necessarily define what they become. Through “Queen,” Freddie was able to share his creative spirit and show the world that you can be loved even if you’re a minority, even if you’re queer and even if you’re living with AIDS. Freddie shows us that our differences can absolutely make our dreams harder to attain, but they certainly don’t make them impossible.
Whether you’re a “Queen” fan or not, this movie really has something for everyone. It’s got its fair share of humorous moments, but also romantic and heart-wrenching ones. It gives the audience a deeper look into the music industry of the 1970s and 80s and the difficult process that comes with producing chart-topping hits and going on worldwide tours. The acting, particularly by Malek, is phenomenal and remarkably true to the real people in Freddie’s life. Most importantly, the soundtrack perfectly emanates the spirit of rock ‘n roll and everything that Freddie stood for: creative freedom, love and pure joy.
If you weren’t a “Queen” fan before, you will be after this movie.