The Story of a Musical Prostitute – Bohemian Rhapsody

In honor of the Academy Awards coming up soon, I would like to talk about a movie special to my heart, but more importantly, a man. A man who I hope I will have the privilege to meet in the afterlife where we will be best friends who collaborate creatively. We will bare our souls to each other, and he will call me “darling” and “dear” affectionately to which I’ll swoon like a school girl.

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Can we just take a minute to appreciate this beautiful man, pls?

Bohemian Rhapsody was originally suppose to star Sacha Baron Cohen (you know, the guy from The Dictator. I’m sorry, but I just have to ask: does anyone actually like this guy? Or his movies?). The story was that Cohen wanted to make the film a real gritty one where the story goes into the dark side of Mercury’s life. Disagreements with Roger Taylor (drummer, master of the falsetto, and a something with the ladies) and Brian May (guitarist and THE LOVE OF MY LIFE HAD I BEEN BORN IN ANOTHER TIME) lead to Cohen leaving the project, and here is the biggest joke: He said no one will want to see the film. Ha! JOKES ON YOU, BORAT! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO MISS OUT ON THE HIGHEST-GROSSING MUSIC BIOPIC OF ALL TIME?!

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…Give me a second while I compose myself…

Not too many people really knew this until the movie released, but Freddie Mercury was actually a Indian Parsi boy named Farrokh Bulsara whose family had to flee to the UK from Zanzibar from civil unrest. Releasing this movie during Trump’s era is symbolic in and of itself, but as an Indian growing up in the world, there is something of greater power in Mercury’s story. The movie wasn’t trying to tell the story of “Freddie Mercury”; they wanted to tell the story of Freddie. There were a lot of things the world saw and used to hold him back. His race, his sexual identity, his vulnerability. Sure there was a lot of material to make the movie Cohen wanted. But instead, we got something better. We got the story of a boy who wanted to sing. And hell if anyone stopped him.

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Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury druing Live-Aid Concert

What made the story personable and charismatic was that it wasn’t just Freddie’s story. It’s like one of Freddie’s line in the movie: he needed them as much as they needed him. The movie encapsulated the workings of Queen behind the concerts and the music videos, and what we saw was a family. A family that disagreed a lot, but one that at the end of the day loved each other despite all the…well…despites.

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“Not the coffee machine!”

Rami Malek did a fantastic job at portraying Mercury as it wasn’t a caricature of the man. It was a genuine portrayal of a human who was emotionally drowning while the world just saw him a a flamboyant rock star. The rest of the cast–Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Gwilym Lee (whose birth certificate I would like to see by the way cause I cannot just ignore the possibility that he was cloned from Brian’s DNA or something cause once the wig is on, he is exactly Brian May), Lucy Boyton–did an equally fantastic job portraying the rest of the bandmembers and Mary Austen respectively. The chemistry all came together creating a cohesive world where the misfits played for other misfits.

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It’s hard writing a movie review about a movie you just loved so much, so I will end it here by saying this:

I sure as hell cannot imagine a night where The movie (spoiler alert) ends with the live-aid concert followed by a montage of screen-writings with what happens afterwards i.e. Mercury’s death was not shown. Some might disagree with this move but in a way, it’s very symbolic to the mark Queen has left on all of us. Freddie may not physically be with us today, but what a bold thing to say that he died. An immortal soul like him never does. He is like the nature of music. The minute he’s gone, there is nothing left for survival. Could you imagine a world without Freddie? I sure can’t. And I sure as hell can’t imagine the night of February 24th without families and friends concentrating intensely on their TV screens waiting for Bohemian Rhapsody to be announced after the words, “And the award for best picture goes to…”

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Footage of actual Live Aid 1985

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