Twentieth Century Fox released “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a biographical film about the legendary band Queen. The movie, in line with traditional band-focused movies, explores the ups and downs of the band’s relationships with each other. For a fresh spin, it details the band’s discovery of its unique sound and its lead singer Freddie Mercury’s various personal struggles.
When Hollywood decides to make a movie highlighting the inner workings of the music industry and a band known for its distinct soundtracks, people tend to celebrate. Queen as a whole seems out of reach today because of their familiarity to the common music listener. Having a movie to bring this band back down to Earth for us just makes sense.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” follows Queen on their journey from humble beginnings playing in a bar to their memorable performance at Live Aid in 1985. While on tour in America to promote their first album, the band struggled to find a sound that was less mainstream than the rock currently on the radio. The four men began messing around in the recording studio, throwing dimes onto drums and sticks onto piano strings to alter the sound.
From this came the inspiration for their second album, which was an experiment in form. The band’s manager refused to promote their favorite song “Bohemian Rhapsody” because it was longer than standard, so Queen walked and put it on the radio themselves.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is an excellent biographical sketch of Queen’s music. The storyline dives just deep enough to better understand the band’s intentions in their lyrics and melodies, but it doesn’t quite go so far as to be able to have a good grasp of the band members themselves, which is what a viewer expects from a band film.
One of the greatest strengths of this film was its ability to make the concert scenes feel like live concerts. The views of the stage from the crowd and the closeups of the band performing made it seem as if I were standing there with everyone. I had to resist the urge to clap in the quiet theater when the band finished.
Another strength is the close dynamic of the band that comes through whether performing concerts or just hanging out on the bus or in the recording studio. The actors did a great job depicting the Queen “family,” as the band members called it. The dynamic strengthens the audience’s relationship to the band and their music and makes viewers more devoted than they already were.
Along with the highlights of “Bohemian Rhapsody” come its few flaws. While the major plot was the band’s highs and lows, the key events took place through the eyes of Freddie Mercury, and this included his private life.
If a viewer watched the film without prior knowledge of Mercury, she would not have learned many facts about him. The movie did include his process of discovering his sexuality and some of his addictions, but it scratched the surface of those struggles, which weakens the viewers’ interpretations of their harsh reality.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is an outstanding band film that chronicles the celebrated rock band Queen as they find their distinct sound. With a noteworthy (pun intended) soundtrack and epic concert scenes, this movie will have you singing along from beginning to end.