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Bohemian Rhapsody: Music that transcends time, space

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The film Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) directed by Bryan Singer, tells the story of music band Queen, its creation and early years, as well as their renowned performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Rami Malek plays as the iconic star of 1970s, Freddie Mercury. Though critics have given a lukewarm response for the biopic, the film stands out as it casts light over Freddie Mercury and depicts the plot of Queen’s rise to fame and everything that came with it.

The film won Academy Award in the year 2019 for Best Performance by an actor in leading role by Rami Malek, Best Achievement in Film Editing by John Ottman, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It also got nomination for Best Motion Picture of the Year.

As the film begin, we are introduced to Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek) who is a young man, and works as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport in London in 1970. Farrokh convinces local band Smile’s guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) to make him their new lead singer after showing them a brief sample of his remarkable vocal range one night after seeing them perform.

Upon adding bass guitarist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) to the band, the band’s name was changed to Queen, which was chosen by Farrokh, who later changed his legal name to Freddie Mercury.

Following their success, Queen hires a new manager, John Reid (Aidan Gillen), and becomes more experimental in their mixing of musical genres, much to the displeasure of their then-boss, Ray Foster of the EMI record label (Mike Myers). Soon after, the band is travelling the world to sell-out crowds and writing big hit songs.

Freddie has now become a celebrity. His insecurities, fights, and painful loneliness, and attempts to find himself are rightly depicted in the film. As Freddie’s personal life begins to derail him, it also threatens to break Queen apart, creating increasing distance between him and his girlfriend and lifelong companion, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton). One thing indeed binds them together is music.

Music transcends time and space, and Queen is no exception. Their music is legendary and throughout the film, many of Queen’s hit songs are featured, each one feeling really epic and full of energy and cinematic beauty.

The film mostly concentrates on Freddie Mercury and not so much on the other members of Queen’s band. Rami Malek does an excellent job at recreating Freddie Mercury and bringing him back to life. He makes us believe he is Freddie Mercury because of the way he actively involves himself in the character (with fake teeth and flashy outfits), especially how he soaks up all of the body gestures and back-arching movements that the real-life Freddie Mercury was known for in his concert appearances.

The editing deserves special appreciation. For example, the side-by-side depiction of the famous Live Aid concert scene against the original is phenomenal.

In short, Bohemian Rhapsody is a cinematic reminder of why the great and iconic band Queen was so beloved to millions across the world.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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