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Bohemian Rhapsody: fostering a new generation of champions

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Bohemian Rhapsody: fostering a new generation of champions

Natalia Mora, Memorial Staff Writer

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In celebration of the monumentally influential 70’s British rock band, Queen, director Bryan Singer worked in partnership with 20th Century Fox and New Regency to produce 2018’s modern retelling of the unsung history of the band, in Bohemian Rhapsody. With a runtime of 133 minutes, the film was released on Nov. 2, and notably surpassed Rotten Tomatoes’ 60% fresh benchmark.

At the box office, the biopic (biographical movie) rounded up $77.265M by its second Friday, trampling competitors The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Halloween, currently setting it as the most successful musical biopic ever.

Each member of the band, including titular frontman and lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), is highlighted both in personality and musicality. Malek’s depiction of the stereotype-shattering front runner was eerily similar, and even gained praise from true band members May and Taylor. The voice track was an amalgamation of Malek’s and impeccable Mercury impersonator Marc Matel’s vocals, to produce the illusion of Queen’s true performance.

This Queen-driven docudrama was well received, though critics primarily found fault in its focus. The movie highlights more closely on Mercury’s personal life than the gusto behind the music, and viewers disliked how the movie trapped the visceral, raw performances into a somewhat tropey script. Others say it ran closer to a music video, focusing on orchestrating montages of Queen’s greatest hits instead of magnifying the musical genius behind them.

Mercury’s masterful composition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in one of the more climactic scenes is never quite fleshed out, but instead seems to materialize into existence following a vaguely dramatic window-gazing, pencil-tapping shot.

The film follows the years of Queen as a band, spanning from 1970 to Mercury’s AIDS-related death in 1991. Its time lapse encompasses each facet of the journey, focusing on even the most trivial of background characters to give a conclusive history of the dearly beloved band, including Mercury’s private exploration of his sexuality. This approach compromises the logistical details behind the band and has given wind to some of the most polarizing opinions surrounding the film.

Regardless, the film was cinematically appealing, and the movie paid tribute to some of Queen’s most memorable songs throughout. The film aims to reach a broad audience of Queen fans, from newbies to diehards, giving the movie an incredibly heavy responsibility to recruit new fans as well as appease the veterans.

The film ran like a drama as opposed to a documentary, likely due to its production team’s passion-project mindset; the notion of whether or not this approach forwarded its motive is the brunt of debate. The film is a great pick if you would like an emotional few hours analyzing the band’s journey through their era, and though it may not be impeccably factual, it satisfies its intention in carrying on Queen’s remarkable legacy.

 

Contact Natalia Mora at [email protected]

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Natalia Mora, Memorial Staff Writer

Hello! My name is Natalia Mora. I am a junior staff writer at Edmond Memorial High School, returning for my second year on staff.

I currently work with...

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Bohemian Rhapsody: fostering a new generation of champions