Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody - Review & Personal Notes
Movie Review: It is terribly unfair with all the hype surrounding the movie prior to its release. Expectations were high. If you don't know Queen or just a so-so fan, this movie would still rate 9/10. If you are a true blue Queen fan, its way off the charts fantastic.
One thing is clear, Rami Malek will be a shoo-in to win next March Best Actor Oscar. He was so good. You can have voice training and even movement coaches, but you still need to have the ability to assimilate and interpret. After 10 minutes you feel you were watching Mercury.
To be fair, there were some minor tweaks to the real truth (such as how Mercury became the band's singer, etc.), and the focus on the Live Aid concert as the "grand finale". But movie producers need an entertaining movie.
Its a riveting portrayal by Rami Malek, and he did not overdo it. If you were a Queen fan, you'd be amazed at the similarities in expressions and mannerisms.
The movie uses Bohemian Rhapsody as the anchor as to how it came about and how it conquered the world - but till today most people still have a vague understanding of the lyrics.
There were incredible moments: when the fans sang back Love of My Life to the band; when Freddie composed the first few lines of the song; when Freddie wrote the first few lines of BH and cried; the sheer amount of love and respect Freddie showed to Mary; etc...
There were no dull moments in the movie, and the selection of songs to be played was well thought out and appropriate. The best thing about the movie was how much more we could see things from Mercury's perspective, in trying to understand his inner demons and unabashed brilliance.
There will be plenty of mediocre reviews by critics because it was not savage enough, or too entertaining, or glossing over facts ... That's all good, this was not meant to be a real biopic but rather a tribute to Mercury and Queen, where we can get to know both much better.
And just like Queen, ... having fun is paramount, which was what the movie did.
Why Queen Is My Favourite Musical Artiste
I started to listen to Queen thanks to a friend who so kindly recorded the 3rd album Sheer Heart Attack on a wonderful cartridge for me. It was so good, I looked for their earlier albums, Queen 1 and Queen 2. Then came NATO (our fanboys favorite way to refer to A Night At The Opera).
They were not the conventional rock band. They love to evolve and do different things. They were not shy of composing melodies and catchy hooks for rock songs. Plus they have a keen eye for harmonies, for a rock band, that was prissy. They also had no problem embracing technology and did not put rock and roll into a box but rather their music had none of the usual boundaries.
Musicality, Brian May was superb as their lead guitarist and a great composer. May and Roger Taylor's drums were largely responsible for Queen's sound. Roger is a very decent drummer and an even better high pitched harmony singer. Mercury was mercurial, a great composer and his voice was unique and wide-ranging.
My favorite albums in order of preference:
1. Sheer Heart Attack
2. Night At The Opera
3. News of The World
5. Day At The Races
6. Queen II
I was fortunate enough to catch Queen live back in 86 or 87 in Sydney with Mercury still delivering the goods. Its the only concert where I could be seen singing to every bloody song. It was magical and satisfying.
What about the songs? Here is my recommended list of lesser-known ones, if you haven't heard most of Queen (just go to You Tube):
a) Brighton Rock - a brilliant catchy rock number with possibly the best guitar solo by Brian May in the middle, play it loud.
b) In The Laps Of The God - An eerie, hymn-like, religious chant that is very melodious. Great harmonies. Listen to Roger Taylor's ethereal soaring harmonies. The song comes in 2 parts.. its the beginning of the inclusion of long play-operatic songs which led to BR.
c) Mustafa/Teo Torriatte - An throwback to Mercury's Persian/Zanzibar roots. Brave and bold. Plus a Japanese song that could have easily be the theme song for a Japan Olympics.
d) Fat Bottomed Girls - I had the huge poster of naked gals riding bicycles from the album. It was so wild.
e) Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy/ Bring Back That Leroy Brown - In their early records, they always insert some sort of vaudeville-like song. Versatility at its best.
Many of my friends were surprised when I told them that I considered Namewee a really smart, musically gifted, funny and noble guy. If you ...
Nobody is spooking anyone by revealing the level of debt the country is facing. Before we can properly address the debt, we have to be hone...
Next week on 26th April, PUC will be holding its EGM to approve the acquisition of a 33% stake in Pictureworks, which comes with guaranteed ...