Here’s a new section that I am adding to the blog. One of my loves is watching movies and tv series – mostly because I’m an overthinker and getting transported into a different world visually not only helps me turn off but it also lights up that part of my brain where I have a huge appreciation for cinematics.
We’ll be starting off this new section with a much-anticipated movie that will be hitting the big screen on November 30th. I was lucky to catch the World Premier Pre-screening of Bohemian Rhapsody over a month before its official release.
A biopic (and I love me a biopic) about the lead singer Freddie Mercury and the band Queen. It follows the life of Mercury from his small beginnings, through to his process as an artist and his larger than life personality he intensified with the success of Queen. All entwined with the personal struggles he faced with his identity, loneliness, and sexuality. See the trailer below:
My background with Queen
Sadly, the real Freddie Mercury died in 1991 so I have never been able to experience the massive icon that he was but thanks to my dad I was exposed to Queen’s music from a young age. I remember getting all excited at age 4 to watch a Queen concert (without Freddie ) on TV and that’s where I fell in love with guitarist Brian May’s mad guitar skills. A couple of years ago I attended a Queen tribute show at Johburg Theatre, where my interest in Mercury actually took off. I started watching more of their music videos and interviews with Freddie and to my utter surprise, I had been walking around for 25 years not knowing he was Parsi Indian!
With my background on Queen and Mercury, I went into this movie really excited to see what I have read about his flamboyant life in articles, come to life on the big screen. I didn’t follow the production of the film too closely but I was aware that the living band members worked closely with the production team in order to get a close-to-damn-it portrayal of the rock legend. Also having cast Rami Malek in the lead role was a great choice from the get-go in terms of looks but I was still holding my breath to see his performance.
Thoughts on the film
The movie is a glimpse into the life of Freddie Mercury, from the formation of Queen, his writing and recording process and the many successes of the band. This is pretty much the chronological order the movie follows but it also touches on issues fans may not have known about him and his personal trials with loneliness which is a theme seen throughout the film. It is a story about a man who was unapologetically himself, he pushed boundaries and knew what he wanted but still had a human condition that needed a form of anesthesia in order to cope.
Although the film touches on realistic problems that contrast his ostentatious life and makes the character real, it also plays it safe and doesn’t explore certain issues that I would have like to have seen a deeper look into. BoRhap is a film honoring his memory but what would have made a bigger impact is if we saw more inner turmoil as he dealt with issues such as identity and finding himself.
Let’s talk Malek for a moment. If anyone had to play Mercury it had to be him. Looking at images from the film we can definitely see that he looks like Mercury but could he act, I wondered? And yes, he can! I know Malek from the unhinged role of Elliot in Mr. Robot and I did not know that he was so versatile as an actor. He brought the essence of Mercury to the big screen and I think he did an amazing job with this character. Speaking for myself, I could see Malek in the character but there were certain instances in the film where Mercury just shone out. Especially in the scenes on stage, parading around with the microphone and stand, that was brilliant.
Okay, so to wrap this up. I loved the film (my biased is showing because I love historical movies,) the music fills the cinema and creates this atmosphere of anticipation and excitement and that’s all I needed. Despite the few hollow areas of the movie, I would recommend you go see it if you love Queen or biopics. One thing that I took away from this movie is that it doesn’t matter where you come from the important thing is, if I work hard at my dreams I could also do something half as significant as Mercury did in his short life.
Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody? Will you be watching it? The movie releases on 30th November at my favorite cinema Ster-kinkor.
Before I go, I’d like to say a big thanks to Melanie Pretorius for the tickets and Ster-kinekor for hosting the event.