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….