Monday, December 31, 2018

Movie Monday: Bohemian Rhapsody

I was finally feeling well enough to go out in the evening this weekend, and we enjoyed a nice dinner with friends Friday. I was lamenting that we missed seeing Bohemian Rhapsody on the big screen (because I was badly crashed all fall) when they told me that it was still playing for two more nights in a small theater that usually only shows independent films. I was so excited! So, the next night, my husband and I went out (second night in a row!), grabbed some dinner, and finally got to see this movie about the band Queen that I have been dying to see for months. It lived up to all the hype and my very high expectations - a moving, powerful, joyful (and sometimes sad) story of the band, its unique songs, and its one-of-a-kind lead singer, Freddie Mercury.

Rami Malek (of Mr. Robot fame) takes on the role of flamboyant and larger-than-life Freddie, beginning with his humble beginnings, living with his parents who were Persian and had migrated from India to Zanzibar, where Freddie was born. Brought up in a very traditional household, Freddie - whose real name was Farrokh - wanted to be a musician, though his father wanted him to take a more traditional job, and his mother wanted him to bring home a "nice girl." Watching a local band perform in a pub one night, Freddie sees Mary (played by Lucy Boynton), who quickly becomes his girlfriend and the love of his life. After the show, he approaches the band members with a song he wrote. They laugh at first, but they've just lost their lead singer, and a short sample of Freddie's amazing singing voice convinces them to bring him in. The band soon reforms as Queen, and Freddie's stage presence, singing, and song-writing genius propel them to bigger and bigger venues and finally, an album. The rest is music history, of course. Meanwhile, in Freddie's private life, he marries Mary, but as most fans already know, he eventually realizes he's gay. They break up, and he begins to explore a very different life, though they remain devoted to each other throughout their lives. Freddie lives a hard partying life, like many a rock star, that eventually implodes. The movie ends with the band doing their part of the Live Aid concert, a stunning performance, especially since Freddie had AIDS by then.

I loved every moment of this movie. For much of it - especially the first half - I sat in the theater with a huge smile on my face, trying hard not to belt out each song and disturb my fellow theater-goers! It is pure, joyful fun watching this team of talented musicians come together and become what they were famous for, as they grow closer and also become a family. Some of my favorite parts were those showing behind-the-scenes how they came up with certain very creative songs, like Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You. Of course, it wasn't all fun and joy; Freddie went through some rough times, too. During those parts of the movie, I cried - and during some of the good parts, too! Any movie that can make you feel lboth joy and sorrow like that is incredible, in my book. Of course, it helps that I am a huge fan of Queen's music, so I thoroughly enjoyed all the music and concert scenes, too. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride that I never wanted to end.

Although it's the tail-end of its theatrical release, check your local listings to see if you can still catch Bohemian Rhapsody  on the big screen through Fandango:  


If you missed it in the theater, never fear! It is coming to both streaming and on DVD in January 2019 and can be pre-ordered now.

Just watching the trailer again sends shivers down my spine - check it out:

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