Bohemian Rhapsody, Not just a Movie but a Grandiose Experience

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Bohemian Rhapsody is the champion. Rami Malek, brilliant. Freddie Mercury is a winner. I waited almost a year to see this movie, ever since Variety released that Rami Malek would play the lead role as Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami and Freddie have similar backgrounds – Malek, an Angeleno, and his parents are both Egyptians while Freddie Mercury (his real name Farrokh Bulsara), was born in Zanzibar to Parsi parents who moved to England when he was 17.

On November 1, to celebrate the release, iHeartMedia played Queen’s iconic song across all over 650-plus radio stations and website nationwide as part of the biggest roadblock in history. Far off where the executive of EMI record at that time Ray Foster said that the radio will never play “Bohemian Rhapsody” because it was too long.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of Freddie Mercury and the band Queen, from pre-Freddie times when they were starting out and performing in colleges and pubs. When the original vocalist left the band, Eddie entered, joined the group showcasing his voice, and the rest was history. I’ve probably seen every program about Freddie’s life story and read most of his bios.

 Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

I’ve always been a fan of the band Queen. I remember in elementary – I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade – when high school students from my catholic school performed a pantomime of Bohemian Rhapsody. The catchy tune caught my inner music attention, and I was glued to the music of Queen ever since. Growing up in the Philippines, I heard Queen’s music all over the radio stations. The group dancers at that time danced to “Another One Bites the Dust” to promote all the Philippine variety shows. According to Wikipedia, “Another One Bites….” is credited as Queen’s best-selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies. This version was ranked at number 34 on Billboard’s All-Time Top Songs.

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury’s Love of his Life

The movie also includes Mercury’s relationship with Mary Austin who he met through his band member Brian May. The song “Love of My Life” refers to Mary, his common-law wife. In the movie, while Austin and Mercury were watching his concert on TV and the audience was singing the chorus “Love of My Life”, Mercury mentioned that the audience was singing about her. Later on in that scene, Mercury revealed to Mary he was bisexual. And so the engagement was off. During the height of Mercury’s career, Mary was there to support him. She was also there during Mercury’s iconic performance in Live Aid. The relationship between Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin was deep and unconditional love. She cared for him, did not judge him and was there with him right until he passed. I believe this is true love and one of the best love stories ever told.

In a 1985 interview,

All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary [Austin], but it’s simply impossible. The only friend I’ve got is Mary and I don’t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.

Lucy Boynton (Mary Austin) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Lucy Boynton (Mary Austin) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Live Aid
In the 80’s Live Aid was “The Concert” that every artist wanted to perform at. The mothership of all the concerts. Bigger than the olympics. It was the broadcast of the biggest benefit concert in history, organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the relief of Ethiopian famine. All the bigwigs in the music industry were there: Queen, George Michael, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, Elvis Costello, and many more. I was in the Philippines and counting down the days to see it on TV. I started to record it on our Betamax machine (it might be your version of VHS or Betacord) until the tape ran out. I was one of the 1.9 billion viewers of the television broadcast.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

It is believed that Mercury and the band Queen had one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. The highlights of the movie were the performances of Mercury at Live Aid. They were brilliant. Malek embodied Mercury – the high-octane energy and the whimsical character on stage, and the interaction with the audience was unbelievable and emotional. His four-octave vocal range was impeccable. I myself, was emotional. It made me cry and laugh. It was magical. It transformed me to the venue like I was there …… I started to stomp my feet, raised and swayed my hands in the theater. It was like riding in a magic carpet ride that brought me to a time machine in 1985. Malek showed the vulnerability and ebullient side of Mercury. Bohemian Rhapsody the movie made so much impact on me. It is the type of movie that when you leave the theater, you still carry your emotions, search more on the internet about the life of Freddie and participate in YouTube discussions. Even my kids were carried away with the performance in the movie. I brought my kids to the Bohemian Rhapsody movie to show the them who Freddie Mercury was – the beloved, talented and gifted artist who stole our hearts. I saw the movie twice and the audience never failed to clap and dance to “Don’t Stop Me Now” during the credits of the movie while showing the video of the song.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

L-R: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Queen’s songs inspired and delighted people all over the world. And yes, I try to expose my kids to the music I grew up to, the music of Queen, which they are familiar with because they play it in their schools. In elementary, their slogan was “Champion” and they even have the letter “C” which stands for champion and they call it Champion folder.

Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

The movie is a must-see for all generations – Gen Z, Gen X, millennials, baby boomers, etc. Rami Malek personifies Mercury’s life and legacy. His music inspires immigrants, dreamers and music lovers young and old.

To close this write-up, I also want to share the day I met Brian May during his book signing event “Queen in 3-D” in 2017 in Los Angeles. What an epic memory from a Queen fan.

A photo-op with Brian May co-founder of the band Queen during the book launching of Queen in 3D in 2017

A photo-op with Brian May co-founder of the band Queen during the book launching of Queen in 3D in 2017

World Premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody in London

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: (L-R) Gwilym Lee, Brian May, Rami Malek, Roger Taylor, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazzello attend the World Premiere of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox) *** Local Caption *** Gwilym Lee; Brian May; Rami Malek; Roger Taylor; Ben Hardy; Joe Mazzello

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: (L-R) Gwilym Lee, Brian May, Rami Malek, Roger Taylor, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazzello attend the World Premiere of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox) Gwilym Lee; Brian May; Rami Malek; Roger Taylor; Ben Hardy; Joe Mazzello

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Roger Taylor attends the World Premiere of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox ) Roger Taylor

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Roger Taylor attends the World Premiere of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox ) Roger Taylor

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Kashmira Bulsara attends the World Premiere of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox )Kashmira Bulsara

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Kashmira Bulsara attends the World Premiere of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox )Kashmira Bulsara

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Jim Beach attends the World Premiere of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox ) Jim Beach

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Jim Beach attends the World Premiere of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox ) Jim Beach

And to turn back the time of the most phenomenal performance and one of the greatest concerts in history. Here’s Freddie Mercury’s performance in Live Aid.

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