Lazy Sunday Afternoons - Bohemian Rhapsody
LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOONS
“Lazy Sunday Afternoons” are here y’all! This is where I will strive to, each two weeks, write a short article in which I recommend a film related to music. Don’t expect stars, or points, or a full on review really. If I mention a film here it is simply because I think it is worth a watch. So grab your blankets, a cup of warm tea, popcorn (tea and popcorn? Ahhh, why not?) and get comfortable. Hope you enjoy these stories accompanied by great music.
You know those annoying kids who claim they were born into the wrong era? I am one of them. Lucky to have had parents who had great taste in music and made me listen to those great 70’s and 80’s tunes, unlucky to know I will never be able to go back in time and experience these live. Know I will never be present at a time when Queen first appeared to blow everyone’s minds.
Queen has always been one of those bands that spoke to me. Head-banging to the bass line on “Another One Bites the Dust”, clapping and stomping to “We Will Rock You”, singing out “I want to ride my bicycle”…. But of course, there is no denying that listening to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is an experience in itself. I remember going to this little “Queen tribute” concert in Lisbon with friends and as we walked out we just felt an immediate urge to start yelling out “Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy?” Moments later, as we strolled down the street, another group of people joined us and we all sang together into the night, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. That is the power that this amazing song holds - wherever you are, if it starts playing, everyone needs to join in and sing it.
When I heard there was to be a film about Freddie Mercury, whose title was to be the same as this song, I could not help but to be excited. And then I stopped myself. What if I hate it? I could not bear that thought, although I had to be prepared for a disappointment. After all, making justice to the legacy left by Freddie and all members of Queen seemed like an enormous task. The production of the film faced numerous problems - actor Sacha Baron Cohen, originally set to play Freddie, dropped out and Ben Whishaw joined in his place, only to be later replaced with Rami Malek. Director Dexter Fletcher was first attached, being replaced by Bryan Singer in 2016. The decision that was obviously not the smartest one since Singer got fired mid project and Fletcher returned to complete it.
Given all this history, I was very much doubting that this would become an oscar-worthy film (which apparently it is), but as a Queen fan I made myself go on to the cinema, trying to keep my expectations low.
I have to say, I am glad I went. Although I wouldn’t consider it the best tribute to Freddie ever, as there is a lot more I wanted to see in this film that simply wasn’t there, it is definitely worth a watch. Queen’s songs plus a great performance by Rami Malek made me both laugh and cry throughout the film. And did they cast the actual Brian May to play himself? The actors playing the other band members look so much like them, it’s unbelievable.
If you are a Queen fan, make sure you watch this. If you are not an absolute fan, I would say it is still very much worth seeing. You will get to know some of the story behind the legend that is Freddie Mercury and spend a good entertaining couple of hours in the company of amazing music.