Western Courier

Bohemian Rhapsody rocks audiences

Brie Coder, Copy Editor

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Even though Rialto Cinemas here in Macomb, Ill. took “Bohemian Rhapsody” out of their theater last Tuesday, it is worth the drive to Galesburg or Peoria to see this film. There are some movies that are forgettable, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not. Released on Nov. 2, this 2 hour and 15 minute movie takes young and old fans back to the formation of the legendary British rock band Queen, and all the triumphs and tribulations that they went through from 1968 until the passing of lead vocalist Freddie Mercury in 1991.

The movie begins by showing Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara, played by Rami Malek) working as a baggage handler at the Heathrow Airport in England, imaging a life that is better than working at an airport. In the beginning when he was still a college student working a typical low wage job, they made sure to show how Mercury always had a pen and paper near him to write down ideas for songs, which foreshadows all his contributions he’d make down the road for the band.

Off and on in the movie, they show the relationship between Mercury’s family and how he had known for a while that he wasn’t going to live up to his parent’s high expectations. What ties up the movie is at the end when Mercury repeats what his father tells him in the beginning of the movie and they come together through a hug before Queen’s performance at the historic Live Aid concert in 1985.

In addition to Mercury’s family life, producers Graham King and Jim Beach did an excellent job showing how the group first came together. When Mercury was visiting local music venues, he happened to come across a group called Smile, which consisted of lead guitarist Brian May (played by Gwilym Lee) and percussionist Roger Taylor (played by Ben Hardy), who would later be a big part of the formation of Queen along with bassist John Deacon (played by Joe Mazzello). After all four men came together, the rest was history.

I personally think the best part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was how tiring and aggravating it was for Queen to get EMI Records to understand that their song, which happens to be the title of the movie, was going to be legendary even though it was a six minute piece, which wasn’t the best type of song to promote for radio at the time, along with the critical reviews the song received when it was first released from USA Today, Rolling Stone, etc. Another thing I’m glad the movie touched on was the problems the bands faced with their managers and how shady they became after they all started living the high life.

Putting all that aside, what made this movie beautifully written and a tear jerker was how close we as fans got to be to understanding Mercury and his bandmates’ highs and lows, and the compositions that were made because of that. I think the biggest thing lost in music nowadays is the sincerity and emotion that can be conveyed through song. The rock opera performances Queen did throughout the years was a way to evoke an emotion out of their audience, and to inform their fans that they struggled with the same daily hassles everyday people go through. For those who believe in music therapy, Queen was the original music therapists and “Bohemian Rhapsody” shows their therapeutic strides in a marvelous way.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Bohemian Rhapsody rocks audiences