Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen is one of the greatest bands of all time. I eagerly anticipated the opening of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and while it is not a perfect movie, it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

I grew up on the music of Queen, although I did not know at the time that some of the anthems that my friends and I sang as kids were by them. There was “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.” And, when I was nine or ten years old, my friend and I would ride the ski lift chair and every time we saw someone fall, we would sing loudly, “Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust, and another one down and another one down, another one bites the dust.”

It was when I went to college in 1989-1990 that I was introduced to the band Queen and became and overnight fan. I became obsessed with “Somebody to Love”, “Bicycle Race”, “Killer Queen” and more. But just as I became a huge fan of Queen, Freddie Mercury died. And, it would be one of my greatest regrets that I would never see Queen perform live.

I remember listening to Adam Lambert performing with Queen during the finale show of his season of American Idol and I chills ran down my spine because it was like he channeled Freddie Mercury. I have since seen Queen with Adam Lambert perform live twice and both times their have honored Freddie Mercury by playing videos of him performing. If I closed my eyes, I could imaging it was the real Freddie Mercury.

As such a big fan of Queen, I was eagerly anticipating the opening of Bohemian Rhapsody. It is a completely enjoyable movie but flawed. More than two decades of Queen’s history is compressed into two hours and fifteen minutes. Many liberties have been taken with the story-line and it does not truly delve into any topics but rather glosses over Freddie Mercury’s life and Queen. The movie shows Queen breaking up and coming together for Live Aid in 1985, shortly after Mercury is diagnosed with AIDS but the truth is that the band never broke up and Mercury was diagnosed after Live Aid. These are just some of the flaws with the story, which lacks a lot of drama and is rather disjointed.

But, despite the story telling flaws, Bohemian Rhapsody is fully entertaining. It is like watching a long music video with all of your favorite songs. And Rami Malek’s performance is extraordinary. He may not look exactly like the real Freddie Mercury but his moves and his performance were spot on. And Gwilym Lee who plays Brian May is his doppelganger. The final scene of the film with the band performing at Live Aid made me feel like I was there, on the stage with Queen, as it was a true recreation of the real concert.

While I will never see the real Freddie Mercury perform live, perhaps this was my closest chance. It also helped that all of the singing in the movie is by Freddie Mercury. While the film itself was flawed, I was entertained and engaged for more than two hours and that is why Bohemian Rhapsody is the Please The Palate pick of the week.