At six years old, one of my greatest dreams in life was to one day be in a rock band. On almost a daily basis, I convinced my younger brother to tie pots and pans around our waists and with wooden spoons stomp around the house singing “We Will Rock You” at the top of our lungs.
Growing up, we had a dad who loved classic rock, so Queen was always a staple on the radio. One of our favorite games to play as a family was the “music game.” While in the car, my dad would flip through the satellite radio stations, and the first person to guess the artist or name of a song would win a point. Of course, my family got competitive, but Queen was one of our favorite bands, and we usually remained on the station long enough to hear the whole song.
From the first time I saw a trailer for “Bohemian Rhapsody” earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to see it. I was thrilled there would be a film dedicated to the band and their music.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was released earlier this month. It is an inspiring tribute to Queen, their remarkable music and their legendary lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The movie takes you through their fascinating journey of becoming one of the world’s most popular rock bands of all time.
Actor Rami Malek takes on the role of Freddie Mercury and does an excellent job at portraying his talent for performing, his desire for fame and recognition and his flamboyant on-stage personality.
It’s hard for me to put into words how incredible of a singer Freddie Mercury was. His vocal range exceeded four octaves, which he demonstrated on most of their tracks.
In the film, Mercury first showcases his voice in the parking lot outside of a club. It was an impromptu “audition” to convince two members of a band called “Smile” to let him join.
Mercury joined the band, and they soon began producing songs and gaining a small following, with Mercury as the front-man. Eventually, Mercury convinced the band to change its name to “Queen.” He also convinced them to sell their van in order pay for time in a recording studio.
Over the span of their music career, Queen pushed the limits, defied stereotypes and crossed boundaries between genres to create some of the most extraordinary music of all time.
When the band needed new and fresh music to set them apart from other rock bands, Queen released the album, “A Night at the Opera,” which included the mega-famous single, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The album was reportedly the most expensive album ever recorded. Fortunately, the success of the album far exceeded the expense of producing it.
When the album was finished, EMI Records (Queen’s record label) hesitated to release “Bohemian Rhapsody” and ultimately refused to release it as the single, saying the song was full of “nonsense words” and “meaningless phrases,” not to mention a six-minute song was far too long to play on any radio station.
Despite the backlash from the record company and many critics, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has become one of the most iconic songs in rock history, something no other band could have pulled off.
It was no secret that Mercury was an amazing performer, but his personal life was not as talked about. For most of his life, Mercury struggled with his sexuality and had a hard time balancing his personal life with his music career.
The movie depicts Mercury struggling to find his place in the world, while also taking the role as one of the most important performers of his time. In the beginning of the movie, Mercury tells his then-fiancé, Mary Austin, that he is “finally doing what he was born to do.”
Throughout his life, Mercury received constant criticism and judgment, expressing in the movie, “We’re four misfits that don’t belong together, playing for other misfits.” Mercury found satisfaction in performing for those who felt just as out of place in the world as he did.
Toward the end of the movie, Mercury returns to the band after a short time apart and feels more confident in the person he has become.
The last scene of the movie shows Queen performing at 1985’s Live Aid concert in Africa. The concert, attended by more than 72,000 people, is said to be one of the largest and most influential concerts in rock history. It is the moment that solidified Queen as one of the most iconic rock bands of all time.
As the band performs some of its most popular songs, Mercury manages to get thousands of concert-goers to stomp, clap and even sing along — while others are in full-blown tears. Queen performed so well at the Live Aid concert that they completely stole the show, leaving those who followed to bite the dust.
Six years after the concert that cemented their fame, Mercury announced he had been diagnosed with AIDS and passed away the following day.
Although the movie attempts to cover a broad overview of the band’s life in only a couple hours, it gives you a glimpse into the life of Mercury and the story of Queen.