A night at the opera?
Ticket collected and suitably refreshed I excitedly made my way to the screening of Bohemian Rhapsody. Since first watching the trailer I had been looking forward to this evening.
Shown in the impact theatre perhaps enhanced the sound a little but I felt not to any great a degree that I would pay more. Although the audience was not as big as I expected, the atmosphere was warm, with not quite a buzz of expectancy, more like a ‘hum’ and a bit of a sing a long. Rated at 12A (England) I appreciated one younger member of the audience, obviously excited and eager to show off her ‘moves’ whilst we toured through the trailers and commercials and dutifully turned off our phones at the prompt.
The film takes us back, introducing Freddy as an emerging moth from a strict, Zoroastrian chrysalis, exploring the night life and music scene of 1960’s and joining up with May and Taylor in 1971.
From this the film romps and raves with the band but places more and more focus on Freddy Mercury; becoming an almost ‘coming of age’ movie about his exploration of who he is, what he wants, how to get it and final acceptance of himself, including his gay relationships and finding that actually he was ‘born to perform’. This all interlaced with possibly a top 5 choice of what music to highlight, making the film story, not a ‘Mama Mia’ soundalike.
It does have mixed reviews from the professional critics, but if you go with a sense of nostalgia, fun and wanting to be amused with sound music then I believe you will enjoy it. Highlights definitely have to be Rami Malek’s superb acting, including coping with the rather overdone false overbite whilst having to sing (yes, I believe he does sing at least one of the songs) talk and look good. Also some of the interaction of the band together showing that families need the good and the bad and when coffee pots are picked up in anger, members are late and let us down, families stick together, tell us the good stuff and accept us failure and all and help us become who we are take the movie up to the finale, a reenactment of 1975 Live Aid Concert: complete with foot stomping, singing, cheering and feel good factor raising the roof ( “Wembley Stadium doesn’t have a roof” “Then we’ll touch the sky and beyond”) I defy anyone to not agree with Taylor “Freddy you are a legend” and Mercury, “We are all legends”.
In conclusion: my choices
Favourite music: conception and realisation of BoRhap with the idea of “We will Rock You”
Favourite lines: unfortunately I can’t remember it verbatim however Freddy, describing himself and his music ” I am a misfit, joining with three other misfits, playing to a crowd of misfits who just want to understand”.
- Mary and Freddy lying under the piano playing the tune
- The ‘reunion’ with May in control, making Freddy wait and leave the room to talk with the band.
- (most poignant) Mary and Jim arm in arm recognising Freddy’s talent during Live Aid concert
Conclusion: Most people stayed in the theatre to watch the credits roll to catch the last notes of the music. Everyone left humming, talking, smiling and feeling that they had just watched something good (if not epic). I was drained with emotion enjoying the quiet bus ride home to reflect. I have written this not even sure if it makes sense but hoping that if you haven’t done already you will go watch the film. I did, I saw, I enjoyed and I will return.