Bohemian Rhapsody: best song of 1975, best movie of 2018


Diamond Neph

A student listens to Queen's "A Night at the Opera" on a vintage-style record player.

Diamond Neph, Editor

The film Bohemian Rhapsody was released to the world Nov. 2, 2018. It is billed as a biographical film about the band Queen, with a special emphasis on the band’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The film outlines the bands history, beginning when Mercury joins them in 1970, and ending with them playing a concert to a sold out crowd. The film is a masterpiece of storytelling.

When I was going into this film, I had high hopes and expectations. Queen is one of my all-time favorite bands. The film was going to have to give them a very good tribute in order to make me happy. By the end of it, it was incredibly clear that they went above and beyond. This movie moved me more than any other has in an incredibly long time. From the masterwork of the performances, to the expertise of the sound design, to the faithfulness of real life, it had it all.

The performances in the film were stellar. The main star, Rami Malek, absolutely knocks it out of the park with his performance of Freddie Mercury. He had a real dedication and devotion to the part. According to an article titled, Freddie Mercury’s spontaneity challenged ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ star, “Malek worked with a movement coach to convey Mercury’s strutting stage presence.” This goes to prove how far he went to provide the best performance he possibly could. It certainly paid dividends. I have had several peers who have seen the movie comment that they could hardly tell the difference between Malek and Mercury when depicted onstage.

Additionally, the sound design in Bohemian Rhapsody was absolutely breathtaking. Throughout the film, several scenes are scored with variations of actual queen songs. Scenes in the movie like the band writing We Will Rock You, for example, have an alternate version of the song playing in the background. This creates a feeling of anticipation and anxiety in the audience as we await the moment when the band finally lands the song and performs it in triumphant fashion. The film is jam-packed with moments like this.

While watching the movie, I was affected by the sound. I was entirely invested in the moment, and I firmly believe a major factor of that was the sound design.

Furthermore, the film was incredibly faithful to the band’s actual experience throughout its life. It spares no details in the name of making the film more pleasant. For example, Freddie Mercury in real life, had quite a controversial lifestyle, with him having trouble finding somebody to love. This is not shied away from in the name of being polite to the audience. A great amount of care was put into being accurate to life. As someone who has a deep respect and admiration for the band, this really adds a lot to the experience for me. I felt like I was watching Mercury’s real life unfold before my eyes. It was able to take such an immortal band, and such a mystical figure as Mercury, and humanize them. By the end of the film, the audience completely relates with the band and Mercury, because it played out very much like real life. Nothing is more relatable than that.

To be completely fair, for a moment, I want to break free from my biases. Obviously, I am passionate about Queen. So, it would make sense that I would have an inflated sense of how great this film was. However, I would have to further argue that most of the points I made earlier stand on their own, regardless of one’s familiarity with the band. This film was a masterpiece of storytelling and craftsmanship. If this film was made about a random other band, but had the same amount of love and dedication put into it, I would be speaking the same words of praise.

This film breaks new ground. It was fantastic on so many levels. When I go to watch a film, I want dedication, care, good storytelling, a good script, good performances, and good directing. I do not often compromise, I want it all. Bohemian Rhapsody masters all of these qualities expertly. This was quite possibly the best film made in 2018 in my opinion. I expect it to rock the academy awards. Sorry, all other films this year, Bohemian Rhapsody will rock you!