By: Rohn Romulo
IF you have ever been moved by the mesmerizing operatics of the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or have been singing along to the soaring choruses of ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ in music halls, stadiums or arenas, then you shouldn’t miss Bohemian Rhapsody movie.
The film begins and ends with Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance. Live Aid was one of the most important cultural events of the 1980s, bringing together the world’s biggest superstars in a benefit concert on two stages, Wembley Stadium in London and the John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, on July 13, 1985.
Organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for those affected by the famine in Ethiopia, the concert was one of the largest satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts of all time, watched by an audience totaling 1.9 billion in 150 countries around the world.
“Bohemian Rhapsody is hands down the best rock biopic since La Bamba”, Ely Buendia, an icon in PH music industry whose music also redefined rock and indie genre, says of the movie.
It’s been over 25 years since the death of lead singer and flamboyant front Freddie Mercury, yet the music lives on. Freddie redefined and transcended stereotypes, just as Queen’s music refuses to be slotted into any traditional genre. Perhaps that’s why the band is such a cross-generational, multicultural and global phenomenon.
Casting director Susie Figgis brought together the rest of the cast. Says producer Graham King: “We didn’t want big names, we wanted great actors who could transform themselves.
Emmy®-winner Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) dons the skintight catsuit and grabs that microphone stick to take on the role of the king of pop rock in Bohemian Rhapsody, directed by Bryan singer, a foot-stomping celebration of Queen’s music and lead singer Freddie Mercury’s extraordinary life. Lucy Boynton, who most recently appeared in the films Sing Street and Murder on the Orient Express, plays Mary Austin, the love of Freddie’s life who remained a true friend even after their romantic relationship ended. The band members – Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon – are brought to life by Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazzello, respectively. Gwilym Lee (Jamestown) as guitarist Brian May; Ben Hardy (The Women in White) as drummer Roger Taylor; Joe Mazzello (Jurassic Park) as bass guitarist John “Deacy” Deacon; Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as Queen’s first manager John Reid; Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) as the group’s lawyer-turned-manager Jim “Miami” Beach; Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) as Paul Prenter, who started off as Reid’s assistant and became Freddie Mercury’s personal manager; Aaron McCusker (Shameless) as Freddie’s longtime boyfriend Jim Hutton; and Mike Myers (Austin Powers) as EMI Records’ Ray Foster.
King has high hopes for the film and its message for the younger generation.
“This is a really uplifting film,“ he says.
“I hope that if there’s anyone in the audience who is confused or being bullied or feeling like an outcast, they would take to heart what Mary says to Freddie in the film: ‘Don’t you see who you can be? Anything you want to be.’ That’s a very important message in today’s world.”
But it’s also the music that King knows will capture the audience’s imagination.
“I go to see a film because I want to feel it, not just see it. For me it was always, if we can get 500 people in a theater clapping and singing along to those powerful anthems that they grew up with and that are a part of their lives, then that’s a film experience. And I think we‘ve done just that. I want people to come out of this film and hug the person they’re next to and sing along with Queen songs. I wanted to continue the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, to show a younger generation who Freddie Mercury was, how the band survived through times, how the music business has changed, what it was like to make a record in those days, what it was like for four guys to meet and create that special sound. Freddie always called the band his family. And I think there’s no better time in the world to pass on the idea that we are all part of one family, no matter who we are or where we come from.”
Bohemian Rhapsody now showing in cinemas nationwide (also available in IMAX screens) from 20th Century Fox.