Queen are a band who’ve been around for donkey’s years and you probably think you know them. At one extreme you might know the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” word-for word and sing it in the shower, or in an annoying falsetto at members of your family when you want to annoy them. At the other end of the spectrum, you might be dismissive of them as a band saying, (as someone did to me this morning) that they were poor musicians, on the basis of a generalised ignorance of the band’s volume of output. The film “Bohemian Rhapsody” addresses these two extremes of viewpoint head-on. It pleases the true fan while educating the ignorant and dismissive to a truly remarkable degree. This film *creates* fans out of unbelievers and fans alike.
All in all, I found “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be an experience very like seeing “blondie” live on stage. I’ve been a fan most of my life, know all their stuff, adore some of it and have gotten used to hearing it playing softly in department stores and lifts, where it never fails to put me in a good mood; which is of course, why they play it. I saw them in the State Theatre Sydney. Debbie Harry was the size of my thumb.
Far from being the muzak that plays in a department store or a lift, Blondie were an utterly tight, almost perfect pure rock band that had the entire theatre on its feet. Bohemian Rhapsody is like that. Its not just a film about Queen’s music its a transfiguration of the band. The film embraces the band’s history and shows Freddie Mercury’s lightening quick evolution from “not Pakistani” baggage handler at Heathrow to officially deified rock god at Live Aid. In doing this in the space of two hours, the film picks up believer and non believer alike and whisks them along creating fans and worshippers in its wake.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a remarkable film, perhaps the best rock music movie I have ever seen.