SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, 2018

In any discussion about great musicians, it is only a matter of time before the name Queen comes up. With a diverse repertoire of rock music, they changed the way that songs were created and performed in their era. Leading the group was the talented and charismatic singer Freddie Mercury. His voice, stretching over four octaves, left audiences amazed. Mercury was a natural performer and will go down as one of the best singers if not the best singer of all time.

I am a big fan of Queen, so when I heard that a biopic on Queen was being produced, I was immediately excited to watch the film. However, I did not know what to expect. The director of the film, Bryan Singer, has produced some movies that I loved watching, such as the X-Men series. However, all of his previous movies were either action or horror. Biopics are very different than those types of movies, so I was unsure if he could pull it off.

I felt as if scenes in the film, especially those in the beginning, were too fast-paced. I would have loved to see more about the origins of the group because it seems as if the film barely touched on that part. The beginning of the movie felt too rushed. Quick scenes were displayed featuring main events for the band in chronological order. In the beginning of the movie, one scene could be set in 1972 and the next in 1976, with no explanation for what occured in between those years.

I went to the movie longing to learn more about the band’s origins and the hardships they struggled through. Instead, I felt as if I was watching a biography of Freddie Mercury’s life. Although Mercury was the leader of the band, I felt as if the movie went too far in depth on his life, especially the plotline centered on his sexuality. Mercury was a very dramatic man who lived a complex life, so it makes sense that the film emphasizes this. However, these stories could have been told without leaving the other band members underrepresented. I left the theater knowing the names of some of Mercury’s love interests, but not the names of the band’s bassist or drummer.

Although the film had its fair share of faults, I was thoroughly entertained while watching. If you are a fan of Queen’s music, then you will be singing along with the entire soundtrack. Timeless songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions” and countless others filled the theater with excitement and nostalgia. One of my favorite parts of the movie was its depictions of each song’s creation. Singer dove into the origins of each individual track, and how the group transitioned from genre to genre of music.

Queen began as a group that produced staple rock music: songs with a lead singer, a bass player, a guitarist and a drummer. Later on, they began incorporating other musical elements into their songs, opera being a prime example. The film succeeded in showing these transitions, and how the group members could adapt to them.

As mentioned before, Mercury was a complicated singer that no other artists at the time could parallel. His quirkiness, charm and charisma were some aspects that separated him from other artists at the time. Rami Malek did a tremendous job as Mercury. Malek was passionate in his role and it was clear from the get-go. He was energetic and humorous, just as Mercury was decades ago.

The climax of the film was “Live Aid,” a concert held in 1985 that attracted over one billion people worldwide on television. It was the concert that solidified Queen as one of the greatest bands of all time, and it was the concert that the bulk of the movie led up to. I had watched the Live Aid concert countless times before seeing the movie, and Singer recreated it perfectly. There was so much attention to detail, whether it be the music, the crowd, the outfits, the looks and just about every detail that made Live Aid such an amazing concert. Looking back on it, the Live Aid scene was one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever watched in a movie.

Leaving the theater, I was content with the film. All I’ve been listening to for the past week is Queen, and I give all credit to the movie. Although the movie did have some issues, I believe that the music, acting and ending of the movie all outweighed these problems.

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John Tayeri
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