Posted in films & DVD, music

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is out on DVD it concerns Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the British rock band Queen. It follows the singer’s life from when he joins the band in 1970 to their 1985 Live Aid performance at the former Wembley Stadium in London. It was Directed by Bryan Singer, written by Anthony McCarten, and produced by Graham King and Queen manager Jim Beach. It stars Rami Malek as Mercury, with Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech, and Mike Myers in supporting roles. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor served as consultants.

It begins In 1970 London, where Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara, an Indian Parsi refugee from Zanzibar, studies art at a college while working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. At night, he often goes out with friends to listen to music. One night, after a show at a pub, Freddie goes to find the band, Smile, and he meets drummer, Roger Taylor and guitarist, Brian May and discovers that their lead singer, Tim Staffell, had just quit, so he auditions as their singer. With the addition of Freddie as lead singer, and bassist John Deacon, the band play gigs across Britain, selling out at pubs and universities. Freddie urges the band to think bigger and record their debut album. Freddie also changes the band’s name to Queen and designs their logo. He also legally changes his name to Freddie Mercury. The band signs with John Reid, Elton John’s manager, and receives a contract with EMI. An appearance on Top of the Pops also gives Queen a hit record, “Killer Queen”.

By 1975, Queen have recorded their fourth album, A Night at the Opera, featuring the six-minute song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Freddie has DJ Kenny Everett play the song on the radio and Despite mixed reviews, “Bohemian Rhapsody” becomes a smash hit. The band’s success continues, however tensions arise over the direction of their music and changes in Freddie’s attitude resulting from his relationship with Paul. After a lavish party at his new home, Freddie falls for Jim Hutton. On stage Queen perform We Will Rock You”, furthering their reputation, however despite enormous commercial success, tensions within the band are reaching breaking point, then Freddie’s relationship with his bandmates deteriorates even further after the “I Want to Break Free” music video, in which the band appears in drag, is banned from MTV so Mercury embarks on a Solo career and signs a solo deal with CBS Records, and moves to Munich in 1984 to work on his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy. Whilst in Munich Mercury engages in gay orgies with Paul involving drugs and alcohol which become increasingly debauched and Mercury gets seriously ill.

Freddie is urged to return to the band and they embark on The Works tour culminating eight weeks before Bob Geldof’s benefit concert, Live Aid at Wembley Stadium and Queen are given a slot in Live Aid. however he is tragically diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless The band perform a barn storming set at Live Aid, performing “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer to Fall” and “We Are the Champions” and The Live Aid Performance is hailed as one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.

Some historical events are also portrayed out of order in the film, for dramatic effect, such as simplifyingThe formation of Queen, The character of Ray Foster being fictional, and Mercury not being the first member of Queen to release a solo album either: Taylor released Fun in Space in April 1981 and Strange Frontier in June 1984. May released Star Fleet Project in October 1983 events surround Freddie Mercury’s diagnosis were also different. Despite this Bohemian Rhapsody received numerous accolades, including a leading four awards at the 91st Academy Awards for Best Actor (Malek), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing; it was also nominated for Best Picture. The film won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, and was nominated for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and BAFTA Award for Best British Film, while Malek won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA awards for Best Actor.

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