‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ breaks free in the box office

Hannah Kiester

Like any decent movie about an iconic band, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ began and ended with a concert—namely, its famous Live Aid Concert in 1985. In between the iconic opening scene, featuring silhouettes of Freddie Mercury preparing for the concert and taking the stage, to the ending performance at the Live Aid Concert, audiences get to experience the making of Queen.

Audiences get to see the band from its very conception, starting with a young Freddie Mercury, who is working at Heathrow Airport in London and dreaming of being a star. Though the movie may feel like it has a slow start, viewers are actually experiencing the groundwork needed to truly understand Mercury through the rest of the movie.

Before Queen and global fame, young Mercury already struggled with issuesof identity and trying to find where hebelonged. His prospects look up when he becomes the lead singer of a band that has conveniently just lost their own lead singer—the remaining band members that join with Mercury become the genesis of Queen.

The audience follows the band through initial fame and creative differences with their producers as they experiment on later hits like the movies titular song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It’s not a spoiler to say that the song did not have immediate popularity despite its status as one of Queen’s best, if not the best, songs.

“Freddie Mercury biopic bites the dust,” according to the Guardian.

Since the movie has been released to the public, however, it has been largely praised.

Those who know about the band, and especially Mercury, will not be surprised by the downfalls that the lead singer and rock icon faces as the biopic unfolds.

Rami Malek’s performance brings life to the struggles in a way that makes the audience feel it. For those who do not know much about Mercury’s life before going into the movie, be prepared for an emotional movie especially in the third act.

The entire cast gave outstanding performances, but the most praise must go to Malek, who played Freddie Mercury. Malek worked for months with a movement coach to be able to replicate exactly the mannerisms of Mercury, and to great success. He captured the lively performance quality and larger-than-life personality of Mercury. Audiences will feel every high and every low that the characters experience.

Whether they realize it or not, most people have heard at least one Queen song in their life. The band’s reach is unprecedented, even decades later. Fans consist of both those who were actively listening as the band released music through the 1970s and 1980s, and also more recent generations like Millenials and Gen-Zs who have grown up listening to Queen with their parents and grandparents.

“We’re playing for the other misfits,” Mercury says in the film when asked what makes Queen different from other rock bands. “They’re the outcasts right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.”

Queen speaks to that desire in all of us to belong to a part of something and uniteus in our struggle to find it. Through thecourse of the movie, audiences will see the love, heartbreak, hope and failure that we all experience as humans.

Though the movie is a biopic of Mercury, it ultimately shows that to succeed and tofind happiness, he needed the rest of Queen. The film brings home the idea of the bandas a family. There are many aspects tothe film that could be easily villainized oroverlooked altogether. Namely, it would have been very easy for a movie to make a bad guy out of someone like Mercury, who was notorious for his drug and alcohol use as well as his sexual exploits.

“I will not be their cautionary tale,” Mercury says later in the movie after learning he has contracted AIDS. “I get to decide who I am.”

The film, rather than making Mercurythat very cautionary tale, instead ends with hope. At the end of the day, the emphasis is on family, friends, love and staying true to who you are. Moviegoers will identify, if just in some small way, with these very human and mundane concepts that keep the world turning.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is, simply, a must- see. All aspects of this movie work form the directing and performances to the story told throughout.

After nearly 30 years since Mercury’s last live show, he continues to inspire his audience to be the champions of the their world.

Bohemian Rhapsody is in theatres now.

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