Culture

The stuff legends are made of: “Bohemian Rhapsody” delivers

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Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of IMDB

The Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is now officially the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time, having earned more than twice as much as the previous record-holder “Straight Outta Compton” from three years ago.

The film follows the story of Queen from the point of view of Mercury, beginning at the band’s formation and climaxing with their legendary 20-minute set at Live Aid in the summer of 1985.  The music, as you would expect, is pure gold, featuring such iconic numbers as “Bohemian Rhapsody” (of course) and the anthem “We Will Rock You,” as many as five tracks from the Live Aid performance, and even several previously unreleased Queen tracks.  

Rami Malek’s Mercury is easily believable, even though more human/vulnerable than I had gone in expecting. I suspect the actor created the entirety of his character without losing sight of the way Mercury died in the end—the real-life Mercury, in contrast, surely did not have foreknowledge of his death in the early days of Queen.

The film has received some criticism for other historical inaccuracies.  However, it is not possible to be entirely accurate about 15 years of a real-life legend within the confines of 150 minutes on a flat screen, and I think the film was not even going for accuracy.  The surviving members of Queen participated in the making of this movie—it was even co-produced by the band’s lawyer-cum-manager Jim Beach—and it is quite obviously a tribute to Mercury. Which means the movie itself is part of the history—the newest layer of the history—and we are right here while its first release is still playing in theatres.

Yashowanto GhoshYashowanto Ghosh is a senior with a major in communication and minors in journalism and writing. Jasho is also an alumnus of Aquinas (B.A. German ’11).

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