A Rhapsody In Gay #filmreview #bohemianrhapsody

Ok a spoiler. Bohemian Rhapsody contains a lot of Queen songs. If you like Queen’s music then that sound track is ace.

Because of that, it’s hard to be critical of a film that does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s not like we are going to be blown away by special affects or mind altering plot twists. We know what happens and most of the film, outside of the music is talking heads.

Of course, unless you are a Queen aficionado you will learn some stuff. Freddie Mercury was from Parsi stock, a Zoroastrian. He worked as a luggage handler at Heathrow. He had extra teeth in his mouth giving him that unique pout and a different vocal range. He contracted aids and told his band members immediately after they reformed for Live Aid in 1985 even though it didn’t become public knowledge until much later.

And we see, recreated, the band tensions and those with the recording company and advisers that are all part and parcel of the creative process for many groups. As Freddie says at one point, he needed the push back of others to make the music they did. But they aren’t unique.

Yet I was in the verge of a good old weep more times in this film than I’ve been since the Spanish onion was introduced to the UK.  It’s oddly feel good for a movie that ends with a death sentence.

Oh that music. I grew through Queen. I wasn’t a Queen nut, I missed the opportunity to see them live but you couldn’t mistake their extraordinary range, their willingness to experiment. Other bands have – the Beatles for sure and another favourite of mine, 10CC  – But the operatic elements remains uniquely Queen.

And it’s a stunning ending, that Live Aid set. 20 minutes that captured a lifetime. I’m old enough to remember that day, where I was over the whole music extravaganza. It is funny looking on at the crowd scenes stitched onto the new shots of the actors. Everyone is going mad. However, if you went to a concert at the old Wembley and we’re anywhere other than on the pitch directly in front of the stage the acoustics were appalling with an echo giving you a second bite at the music two seconds after the first. It’s like forgetting to hand in your homework and getting bollocked twice; neither is much fun.  So most of the crowd would have been reacting to the atmosphere not lovely the music. But boy did they just love that energy.

What does that tell me? Being there isn’t always great and reliving someone’s life doesn’t always make for good cinema? True but not here.

This works. In spades. If you’ve not sung along to a Queen song then you’ve not lived. Go. See it. Stamp your feet and clap to this

It’s about time you experienced that wonderful rush. And if you have, if you know what it’s like, oh boy are you in for a treat….

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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40 Responses to A Rhapsody In Gay #filmreview #bohemianrhapsody

  1. Yes it’s a great film. I will be watching it again for sure.

    Like

  2. Mary Smith says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m going on 25th and so looking forward to it. I’ve always regretted never seeing them live but from what you say it may have been disappointing musically. I bet the atmosphere must have been terrific, though. Tonight I’m going to see A Star is Born.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am hoping to see it this weekend. I saw the band twice live – in Glasgow then Edinburgh. Precious memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davidprosser says:

    These are the days of our lives, that’s one to raise a tear in my eyes and a sob in my throat. A brilliant group with vast talent.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am a die-hard Queen fan. I wrote my first two books to their music. Your review makes the film a must. Thanks, Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Seen it and will again, and again, and again … your review spot on for me.

    Like

  7. I didn’t know he had extra teeth affecting his vocal range. I often wondered why, with all his money, he didn’t just get his teeth fixed: in interviews he seemed quite self-conscious about them. Now I understand. I regret never seeing Queen live. John saw them at Glasgow Uni just after Seven Seas of Rhye took off. I think they tried to get out of it for grander venues but contracts, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. barbtaub says:

    I wasn’t at LiveAid, but I’ve always thought the video was incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Freddie was a legend in my lifetime. Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I don’t like We will rock you but I do like a lot of Queen, especially We are the Champions – I love that!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. JT Twissel says:

    I’ve read mixed reviews about the movie. Some reviewers think it did a disservice to Freddy. I guess I’ll have to see it and make out my own mind!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I heard that. I think at the outset it was to be a Freddie story but the rest of the band agreed to work on it if it was the bands story so it does give the impression of a compromise. Still it worked for me

      Like

  12. My girls were rabid Queen fans and I therefore imbibed their music via osmosis . I was listening to classical at the time and was terribly impressed when Freddie sang with Montserrat Caballé. His vocal range was impressive. I intend to see this movie too. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      That doesn’t appear sadly. I heard that when he first heard her ding he refused to go ahead and it took a lot of persuasion. But their voices did complement each other. Her obit was on the radio in the last couple of months and she was quite a gal by all accounts

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ritu says:

    I really want to see it!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I am a big fan of Queen. Freddie Mercury was a genius and his musical ability was unsurpassed. I must see this movie. My husband’s schedule may not allow him to go – I’m prepared to go alone if I need to. Based on your review, Geoff, I’ll take some tissues.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Charli Mills says:

    We Will Rock You was the anthem of every basketball game at Diamond Valley School. Nothing captures the full vibe that is Queen. I’ve been looking forward to this movie!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Excellent review of the life of a great man

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Widdershins says:

    Looking forward to it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  18. willowdot21 says:

    I saw this great film a fortnight ago, I loved it. Everything about it was to me, and I am a Queen Nut (there I have owned up) . I laughed cried and rocked . Freddie was a genius. 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

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