Bohemian Rhapsody [movie reaction]

"Fortune favors the bold."

We Will Rock You. We Are the Champions. Radio Gaga. Bohemian Rhapsody. Even if you don't know what Queen is, you might have heard these songs before. Queen is a rock band that was popular during the 1970s and 80s. Freddie Mercury, the lead singer, is one of the most popular rock icons in the world. Bohemian Rhapsody attempts to tell the story of the band and its frontman.

I actually watched the film in Robinsons Manila last November 2, I met my friends from HALA and another roommate when I stayed in Taiwan. We just decided to watch what movie was available, and we ended up watching this one. Though I already wanted to watch it before, back when I saw the trailer.

The movie begins with Freddie getting ready for a concert. The beginning sequence ends with him on the stage, about to start singing for a huge crowd, then the movie cuts to the main story. Freddie lives in a somewhat conservative immigrant family. There's a particular band he watches whose lead singer just quit, and he wanted in. The rest is history.

The movie tried it's best to recreate the time period, setting, and even the cast. The casting was spot on but it's very uncanny how the actor Gwilym Lee looked like the guitartist Brian May. The highlight of the movie is the ending, where they recreated the whole LiveAid Performance of Queen, which is known as the best rock performance of all time. Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was also great.

Every detail, every action, was followed. It's amazing, really. If you watch the actual footage of Queen in the 1985 LiveAid, you can almost feel the crowd's energy and Freddie really knows how to play them well. In real life, Freddie looks like he really enjoys performing and being onstage. He was at home right there. In the movie's LiveAid version, I love that the cinema audience can almost feel like they are there. We sang along to the songs we knew.

The movie tells of the band's rise to fame, the problems they had along the way, a break-up, and an eventual comeback. The conflict in Freddie and his career had more emphasis, but I think it portrayed the group's relationship well. In their last albums, credit to the songs was not placed on any specific person but to "Queen" as a whole.

The thing I liked most was how they made their iconic rock songs and the funny way it portrayed the relationship between the band members. I love how the little ideas and details made up the hits. How the movie portrayed the story of the song Bohemian Rhapsody was so entertaining. It was bold and experimental at that time, and the recording company initially didn't want to make it into a main single but the band fought for it.

Another thing that really shines is Freddie's relationship with Mary Austin. Mary was there before Queen's rise to fame. Freddie's struggle with his sexuality leads to their break-up, but in the story, he loves her deeply and they continued to be good friends even after the romantic relationship ended.

The movie's editing is quite new to me, with very 70's themes. For example, in showing the release of the song Bohemian Rhapsody, they also flashed the words of the critics who didn't really like the song that much. But the song stood the test of time and is now considered as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. When Freddie was being bombarded with questions from the press during a conference, there are shapes shifting and things zooming around which shows anxiety and makes the viewer feel claustrophobic. Overall, I really like the editing.

As for the facts, the movie does not strictly follow everything that happened in real life. There are many blog posts online dedicated to enumerating what changed in the movie. I think that's acceptable because a movie is a story and real life doesn't always translate well. However, it might mislead the viewers to think that this is all how it actually happened.

There are movies you are content to see once, but a movie is special if you feel like you want to see it again in the theater twice. Bohemian Rhapsody is that kind of movie for me. It is as daring, flamboyant, and bold as the band Queen and Freddie Mercury. Freddie would have approved of the it!

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